The Montreal Canadiens have a red-hot goaltender while the Philadelphia Flyers will be without their No. 1 man between the pipes. That should point the arrow clearly in favor of the Canadiens on Tuesday and the NHL odds indicate just as much.
The Philadelphia Flyers Can Win Because…
They are playing some of their best hockey of the season right now. They have won five of their last six and are trying to make a playoff push – as unlikely as it is to come to fruition as they are nine points back of the final playoff spot.
For them, goaltending is always the key as their offense tends to play consistently. When their netminding is decent, as it has been recently when they’ve given up just 10 regulation goals in their last six, then they can be competitive. When they are struggling to keep pucks out of the net, then they can’t seem to keep their head above water in terms of wins and losses.
While they’ll be going up against a stellar goaltender in Carey Price, he hasn’t fared too well against the Flyers in his career. Overall, he’s 10-9-2 against them with a 2.70 GAA and .915 save percentage. Those numbers aren’t bad but they are far off from his best. That should give the Flyers an opening here.
The Montreal Canadiens Can Win Because…
They are playing really well right now. They’ve won seven of their last nine games and are riding a goaltending that is playing better than any other in the NHL. Carey Price was outstanding on Sunday night as the Canadiens swept their season series with the Bruins, making numbers jaw-dropping, incredible saves. He has now won seven of his last eight outings and has allowed more than two goals just twice in his last 19 games. On the year, he has registered a .932 save percentage, which is the best in the NHL, and his 2.03 is good for second.
As for the Flyers, they’ll be without top netminder Steve Mason as he’s out due to a lower-body injury. He had gone 3-0-1 with a 1.23 GAA in his last four outings, so he will be missed. We might see Ray Emery in net for the Flyers and that would be bad news for them if that’s the case. He has a putrid 3.34 GAA this season and .886 save percentage. His numbers in road games are even worse as his GAA balloons to 3.78.
With such a huge edge between the pipes, the Canadiens should be the ideal choice for your NHL picks here.
The Canadiens enter Tuesday with 52 points, which puts them three back of the East-leading Tampa Bay Lightning, but remember that the Habs have three games in hand.
It’s a big number to lay here on the NHL odds, so we’ll recommend an over play instead. The previous two meetings between the teams have gone over as Price has given up six goals in two meetings this season. If he’s in net, taking the Habs is probably the right decision on the moneyline but we’ll instead play the total. And if he’s not in net altogether – as he did play a back-to-back set on the weekend – then the over is even a stronger play.
NHL Pick: Over 5.5 at TheGreek