Montreal Canadiens vs. Florida Panthers Matchup Preview

The BB&T Center is playing host an Atlantic Division clash as the Montreal Canadiens visit Florida to face the Panthers. Reseau Des Sports will showcase the action, which gets going at 7:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 8.

Montreal Canadiens vs. Florida Panthers Odds

Florida (-200) is currently favored over Montreal (+170) and the oddsmakers have put the Over/Under (O/U) at 6 goals. The line for betting the total stands at -105 money on the over and -115 for the under.

Florida is 32-32 straight up (SU) and has netted 0.5 units for moneyline bettors this year. That early-season winning percentage is a welcome improvement compared to how the team performed during the 2016-17 season (35-47). Through 64 regular season contests, 33 of the team’s games have gone over the total, while 31 have gone under and none have pushed. This year, the team’s 19-12 SU at home.

The Panthers have converted on 19.4 percent of their power play chances this year, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, their penalty kill is ranked 20th overall, and they’ve successfully killed off 79.4 percent of all penalties.

The Panthers, as a collective unit, have been penalized 4.3 times per game overall this season, 3.8 per game over their past five games total, and 4.0 per game over their last five at home. The team’s had to kill penalties for a whopping 13.8 minutes per game over their last five outings, in total.

Boasting a .907 save percentage and 27.8 saves per game, James Reimer (16-20-5) has been the top goalkeeper for the Panthers this year. If the Panthers decide to give him a breather, however, head coach Bob Boughner might turn to Roberto Luongo (12-11-11 record, .927 save percentage, 2.61 goals against average).

Aleksander Barkov and Vincent Trocheck will each lead the offensive attack for the Panthers. Barkov (66 points) has tallied 25 goals and 41 assists and has recorded two or more points in 18 different games this year. Trocheck has 25 goals and 33 assists to his credit and has recorded at least one point in 41 games.

Montreal is 25-41 straight up (SU) and has lost 19.5 units for moneyline bettors this year. A total of 36 of its matches have gone under the total, while 28 have gone over and just two have pushed. The Canadiens are 9-23 SU as an away team this season.

The Canadiens have converted on 20.3 percent of their power play opportunities this season, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 28th overall and it’s successfully defended 76.5 percent of all penalties.

Montreal’s players have been whistled for penalties 3.8 times per game in total this season, and 4.4 per game over their past five match ups. The team’s had to kill penalties 9.4 minutes per game over their last five road outings.

Carey Price (2.98 goals against average and .904 save percentage) has been the primary option in goal for Montreal. Price is averaging 27.3 saves per game and has 15 wins, 28 losses, and six overtime losses to his credit.

Brendan Gallagher (24 goals, 17 assists) and Alex Galchenyuk (15 goals, 24 assists) are the top point-getters for Montreal and will pace the attack for the visiting Canadiens.

Montreal Canadiens at Florida Panthers Betting Picks

NHL Pick: SU Winner – Panthers, O/U – Under

Betting Notes

  • Four of Florida’s last ten contests have been decided by two or more goals, and the team is 3-1 overall in those games.
  • Power plays and penalty kills may prove to be extremely important in the outcome of this matchup. The Canadiens are 9-13 in games where they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 19-27 when they serve fewer than 10 penalty minutes, in total. The Panthers are 12-16 when the team serves fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 14-19 in games where total penalty minutes are in the single digits.
  • Two of Montreal’s last ten games have gone to a shootout. The team is 0-2 in those games and 2-5 overall in shootouts this season.
  • The total has gone under in four of Florida’s last five outings.
  • Florida is ranked 28th this season with 12.1 giveaways per game. That figure has regressed recently, as it’s averaged 14.6 giveaways over its last 10 games and 17.8 giveaways over its last five.
  • Montreal is ranked 30th this season with 12.6 giveaways per game. That figure has trended lower, however, as the team’s averaged 10.2 giveaways over its last 10 games and 10.4 giveaways over its last five.
  • Montreal skaters have given out the league’s third-most hits per game (25.5).