Montreal Canadiens at Washington Capitals Free Pick

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

In their second head-to-head meeting of the regular season, the Montreal Canadiens and the Washington Capitals take the ice at Capital One Arena for an Eastern Conference showdown. The game will get started at 7:30 p.m. ET on Friday, January 19 and it can be caught live on Reseau Des Sports.

Montreal Canadiens vs. Washington Capitals Odds

Washington is 28-18 straight up (SU) and has earned moneyline bettors 8.2 units this year. That winning percentage, ranked fourth in the league in this young season, is a regression from the 55-27 record that the team posted during the 2016-17 season campaign. Among the teams 46 games this season, 25 have gone over the total, while 20 have gone under and none have pushed. This season, the teams 18-6 SU at home.

The Capitals have converted on 18.9 percent of their power play opportunities this year, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, their penalty kill is ranked 21st overall, and they’ve successfully killed off 79.5 percent of all penalties.

As a collective unit, the Capitals have been penalized 4.2 times per game overall this season, and 3.2 per game over their last five at home. The team has been forced to stave off opponent power plays for 8.5 minutes per game over their last 10 outings, overall.

Averaging 28.6 saves per game with a .916 save percentage, Braden Holtby (24-10-1) has been the primary option in goal for the Caps this year. Holtby did just play last night, however, so the team may decide to give him the night off and instead turn to Philipp Grubauer (4-11-11 record, .916 save percentage, 2.60 goals against average).

Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov will both be focal points for the Capitals. Ovechkin (49 points) has produced 28 goals and 21 assists and has recorded multiple points 13 times this year. Kuznetsov has 13 goals and 29 assists to his name and has notched at least one point in 26 games.

On the other side of the ice, Montreal is 18-27 straight up (SU) and has lost 13.0 units for moneyline bettors this year. A total of 24 of its games have gone under the total, while 19 have gone over and just two have pushed. As the visiting team, the Canadiens are 7-14 SU so far.

The Canadiens have converted on 19.3 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 27th overall and it’s successfully defended 77.9 percent of all opponent power plays.

Montreal’s skaters have been penalized 3.8 times per game in total this season, and 2.4 per game over their last five match ups. The team has had to stave off opponent power plays just 6.4 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Carey Price (2.96 goals against average and .908 save percentage) has been the primary option in goal for Montreal. Price is averaging 28.0 saves per game and has 13 wins, 19 losses, and four overtime losses to his credit.

Alex Galchenyuk (11 goals, 15 assists) and Max Pacioretty (12 goals, 13 assists) have been the top playmakers for Montreal and will pace the offensive counter for the visiting Canadiens.

Montreal Canadiens at Washington Capitals Free Picks

Predictions: SU Winner – Capitals, O/U – Under

Betting Notes

  • Two of Montreal’s last ten games have gone to a shootout. The team is 1-1 in those games and 2-2 overall in shootouts this season.
  • The total has gone over in three of Washington’s last five games.
  • Montreal has managed 29.0 shot attempts per game over its last five road games while Washington has been attempting 33.2 shots per game over its last five home outings.
  • Over Montreal’s last ten games, seven of them have been decided by two or more goals (the team is 1-6 in those games).
  • This game features two of the tougher teams in the league. Montreal skaters have given out the leagues third-most hits per game (25.0) and the Capitals have handed the 10th-most (22.5).