NHL Picks: Side with Home Favorites Canadiens -118 vs. Rangers

Ross Benjamin

Thursday, October 15, 2015 6:01 PM GMT

Can the Rangers win their third straight away game? Will Montreal be able to start the season with their fifth consecutive win? Go inside in order to find out and get our NHL pick.

Eastern Conference Powers meet in Montreal
The Canadiens host the Rangers on Thursday in a battle of two elite Eastern Conference teams. The opening faceoff at the Bell Centre in Montreal is slated for 7:35 PM ET. According to the NHL odds at 5Dimes, Montreal is a -118 money line favorite and the total is 5.0. Montreal won 2 of the 3 encounters between these teams a season ago, and none of those games went over the total.

 

Goaltending Twists and Turns
There’s little doubt that Henrik Lundquist of the Rangers is regarded as one the top goaltenders in the world, and rightfully so. Lundquist started each of the first four games this season, and had a superb .933 save percentage in those outings. There’s a huge red flag hung on Thursday’s game pertaining to Lundquist. “Sir Henrik” has made thirteen career appearances at the Bell Center, posted a large 3.70 GAA, and a terrible .878 save percentage during those outings. As a matter of fact, in his last five starts at Montreal, Lundquist has gone 0-4-1 with a sizable 4.30 GAA. That’s his worst numbers he’s posted in any NHL arena where he’s appeared at least five times.

Carey Price has started three of Montreal’s first four games and has been superb. During those starts he’s compiled a terrific .945 save percentage and 1.33 GAA. Unlike his goaltending adversary this evening, Price has dominated the Rangers during the past three regular seasons. During that stretch, he’s gone 6-1 in seven starts against New York with an off the charts 0.43 GAA, and virtually an unbeatable .986 save percentage.

 

Habs flirt with Franchise History
The Canadiens have opened the season with four consecutive road wins. The last time that Montreal started 4-0 was during the 1977-1978 NHL regular season. As a matter of fact, this is just the fifth time in the history of this storied franchise that they’ve started 4-0, and each of the previous four finished with a Stanley Cup Trophy.

 

Final Take
The Rangers were the best road team in the NHL a season ago, and are off to a 2-0 start in away games this year. However, they’ll be facing a Montreal club tonight that’s sure to be charged up for reasons I’ve already alluded to. I’m siding with the home team tonight for one of my NHL picks.

NHL Pick: Canadiens -118 at 5Dimes

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