Bell Centre is playing host an Eastern Conference showdown as the New Jersey Devils travel to Quebec to face the Montreal Canadiens. The opening face-off takes place at 7:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, December 14, and it can be caught live on Reseau Des Sports.
New Jersey Devils vs. Montreal Canadiens Odds
New Jersey is 17-13 straight up (SU) and has earned moneyline bettors 7.6 units this season. 16 of its matches have gone over the total, while 13 have gone under and just one has pushed. This 2017-18 Devils team is 10-6 SU on the road.
New Jersey has converted on 20.4 percent of its power play chances this year, a figure that places them in the top-10 among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked eighth overall, and the teams successfully killed off 82.7 percent of all penalties.
The Devils, as a collective unit, have been called for penalties 4.1 times per game this season, and 3.4 per game over its past five contests. The teams been forced to defend opponent power plays just 7.6 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Averaging 29.6 saves per game with a .920 save percentage, Cory Schneider (13-9-3) has been the best option in goal for New Jersey this season. If head coach John Hynes chooses to rest him, however, the team might go with Keith Kinkaid (5-5-1), who has a .893 save percentage and 3.49 goals against average this year.
Taylor Hall and Jesper Bratt will both spearhead the attack for the visiting Devils. Hall (31 points) is up to 11 goals and 20 assists, and has recorded multiple points eight times. Bratt has nine goals and 11 assists to his name (and has notched a point in 12 games).
Montreal is 13-18 straight up (SU) and has lost 8.8 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 31 regular season outings, 15 of its games have gone over the total, while 14 have gone under and just two have pushed. This season, the team is 8-10 SU at home.
The Canadiens have converted on just 18.0 percent of their power play opportunities this year, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 26th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 77.7 percent of all opponent power plays.
Canadiens players have been sent to the penalty box 4.1 times per game in total this season, 4.0 per game over their last five contests total, and 3.8 per game over their last five home outings. The team has been forced to defend opponent power plays just 8.3 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Carey Price (26.2 saves per game) has been the primary option in goal for the Canadiens. Price has eight wins, 11 losses, and two overtime losses to his name and has maintained a pedestrian 3.16 goals against average and a subpar .899 save percentage this year.
Brendan Gallagher (13 goals, six assists) will pace the attack for the home team.
New Jersey Devils vs. Montreal Canadiens Free Picks
Predictions: SU Winner – Canadiens, O/U – Over
- Six of Montreal’s last ten games have been decided by two or more goals, and the club is 4-2 overall in those games.
- The Devils are 10-5 SU when they serve more penalty minutes than their opponent while the Canadiens are 4-8 SU in games where they spend more time in the box than the opposition.
- Montreal is 1-1 in games decided by a shootout this season while New Jersey is 2-2 in shootouts.
- The over has hit in four of Montreal’s last five games.
- Montreal has allowed 3.2 goals per game overall this season, but has given up 4.3 goals per matchup over its three-game losing streak.
- Montreal is ranked 29th this season with 14.4 giveaways per game. That figure has trended upward recently, as the teams averaged 16.6 giveaways over its last 10 games and 16.8 giveaways over its last five.
- New Jersey has averaged 5.4 giveaways over its last five home games, an improvement from its season average of 7.9 giveaways per game (the eighth-fewest in the league).
- This game features two of the more aggressive teams in the league. New Jersey skaters have given out the leagues 11th-most hits per game (22.3) and the Habs have tallied the second-most (25.2).