Play Motivated Canadiens As Your NHL Pick vs. Senators

Dana Lane

Saturday, March 19, 2016 7:39 PM GMT

The Montreal Canadiens finally have something to play for as they face the Ottawa Senators in a big game for each. Who will be NHL pick tonight?

Canadiens vs. Senators
It may seem strange as it appears that both of these teams will not make the playoffs but you could label this game as critical. Both teams still have small aspirations of making the playoffs both neither can generate enough momentum to make that a reality. 

The difference in this one is the Canadiens penalty kill and the Senators lack of one. which often decides games. Montreal is killing off penalties at a 83.7% which is good for 5th in the league while Ottawa is almost dead last in the league at 75%.Ottawa's first defensive pairing is Erik Karlsson and Dion Phaneuf with Marc Methot in the mix. My only knock against Karlsson is his size and I think it shows up on the penalty kill as he has to cover more ground in a shorter time. Size always hurts him when attempting to block shots.  A bigger body gives a player a better shot to get in the way of the puck. No one will ever question his offensive gifts but I like my defensemen to have a defense in them.  Phaneuf has not played well lately with 0 points in his last eight games. Unlike Karlsson he is a big body but has trouble with defensive zone coverage at times on the five on five so it's been very hard to trust him on the penalty kill. He must maintain his position and not always go for the ill advised pinch. Methot, 6-3/230, is another big body but doesn't like to use it.  He seems soft to me which allows opposing power plays to get inside too easy. It's tough to win games when you can't stop teams scoring on the man advantage and you haven't scored a power play goal in your last 21 attempts. Let's check the NHL odds.

In true inconsistent fashion the Ottawa Senators who could have won three in row with a win over the hapless Sabres, played shorthanded for most of the last seven minutes in dropping a 3-1 decision. They lost most of the difficult battles in the corners and didn't play like a team that was in desperation to make the playoffs. I get the feeling this is one the Senators wanted, now, they have only 10 games to make up a seven point difference. 

Ben Scrivens will start in goal for the Habs while back-up Andrew Hammond will start for the Senators. 

You can't point to many positives for Montreal but they have played well against the Eastern Conference lately winning five of their last six games. This is not a recommendation on the total but it's important to take note that the 'over' is 21-6-6 in Montreal's last 33 road games.  

I like Montreal getting with the generous plus money price tonight as the NHL pick.

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NHL Pick: Canadiens +125
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes