NHL Picks: Rangers vs. Canadiens

David Schwab

Saturday, March 30, 2013 4:00 AM GMT

Saturday, Mar. 30, 2013 4:00 AM GMT

The New York Rangers will try and add a much needed two points to their season total when they face off against the Montreal Canadiens this Saturday night at the Bell Centre.

The puck is set to drop at 4 p.m. (PT) and the game will be broadcast nationally for us to root for our hockey picks on the NHL Network.

Rangers Betting Overview

It was not really surprising that New York came out flat this past Thursday night in a 3-0 loss to Ottawa as a 114 road favorite after pummeling Philadelphia 5-2 on the road as a 108 underdog just two days earlier. Consistency has been a problem all season long which helps explain why one of the preseason favorites to win the Stanley Cup this year is struggling to hold onto the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with 35 points in 33 games.

Another problem has been the Rangers inability to find the back of the net. They are ranked next to last in the NHL in scoring with an average of just 2.3 goals a game. The only thing keeping their heads above water is the play of goalie Henrik Lundqvist and a defense that is holding teams to 2.4 goals on the other end of the ice. Lundqvist has goals-against average of 2.19 and a .922 save percentage in 29 games this season.

Canadiens Betting Overview

Many people might have thought that Montreal’s fast start was just a fluke and it would not last, but with just 15 games left to play in the regular season it is holding down second-place in the East with 47 points. The Canadiens have been able to keep the white-hot Penguins still in their sights for the No.1 seed with a 7-2-1 record in their last 10 games including a huge 6-5 shootout victory over Boston this past Wednesday as 160 road underdogs.

Unlike the Rangers, Montreal is one of the highest scoring teams in the league with an average of 3.1 goals a game. Tomas Plekanec leads the team with 12 goals but it has five other players with at least eight goals this season. Carey Price has gotten the majority of the starts in goal and has done an excellent job with a 2.37 GAA and a save percentage of .911. You can expect to see him between the pipes in this one despite being pulled against the Bruins after giving-up four goals on 26 shots.

It's a must to check our NHL picks of the Day to stay ahead of the curve!

Rangers vs. Canadiens- NHL Betting Odds and Trends

BetOnline has opened their betting odds with New York as a 143 road underdog on the money line with the Canadiens listed as 157 home favorites. The total for this contest has been set at 5.

The Rangers are 2-5 in their last seven games playing on one day’s rest and 1-6 in their last seven games against teams from the Northeast Division. The total has stayed UNDER in five of their last six games against a team with a winning record.

The Canadiens are 6-2 in their last eight home games against a team with a losing record on the road and 5-0 in their last five games after allowing five or more goals in their previous outing.  The total has gone OVER in 10 of their last 14 games overall.

Head to head in this matchup, the home team has won 20 of the last 27 meetings and the total has stayed UNDER in three of the last five games played in Montreal. The Canadiens won the first two meetings this season by a combined score of 6-1 with the total staying UNDER both times.

[gameodds]7/223364/43-19-999996-92/us[/gameodds]

Rangers vs. Canadiens- Free NHL Pick

The past trends in this series obviously favors the home team in this matchup but the biggest reason why Montreal wins this game is current form. The Rangers inability to light the lamp against the Canadiens this season costs them another game.

Montreal 4 New York 2 (lines provided by BetOnline)

YTD Free NHL Picks Record: 20-11-2

 

 

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