New York Islanders vs. Montreal Canadiens Matchup

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

Bell Centre is the site for an Eastern Conference matchup as the Montreal Canadiens welcome the visiting New York Islanders. The matchup gets started at 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday, February 28, and fans at home will be able to see the game live on Sportsnet.

New York Islanders vs. Montreal Canadiens Odds

Each side currently has an identical -110 money line for this matchup and the Over/Under (O/U) is set at an even 6 goals (-130 over, +110 under).

New York is 29-34 straight up (SU) and has lost 5.4 units for moneyline bettors thus far. Through 63 regular season outings, 38 of its games have gone over the total, while 22 have gone under and just three have pushed. The Isles are 13-19 SU on the road in 2017-18.

New York has converted on 21.0 percent of its power play chances this year, a mark that’s right around league average. Its penalty kill is ranked 30th overall, and it’s successfully killed off only 74.6 percent of its penalties.

For the team as a whole, New York has been penalized just 3.4 times per game overall this season, and 2.2 per game over its last five on the road. The team’s had to kill penalties just 6.6 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Averaging 30.8 saves per game with a .911 save percentage, Jaroslav Halak (18-26-5) has been the best option in goal for New York this year. If it chooses to rest him, however, New York may go with Thomas Greiss (12-12-2 record, .891 save percentage, 3.84 goals against average).

Mathew Barzal and John Tavares will both be offensive focal points for the visiting Islanders. Barzal has 66 points on 17 goals and 49 assists, and has recorded multiple points 14 times. Tavares has 30 goals and 34 assists to his credit (and has registered a point in 37 games).

On the other side of the rink, Montreal is 23-39 straight up (SU) and has lost 19.7 units for moneyline bettors this year. 34 of its matches have gone under the total, while 26 have gone over and just two have pushed. It’s 15-18 SU as the home team this year.

Montreal has converted on 21.0 percent of its power play chances this year, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 25th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 77.0 percent of all penalties.

Montreal players have been called for penalties 3.8 times per game in total this season, and 4.4 per game over their last five at home. The team has been forced to kill penalties just 8.2 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Carey Price has stopped 27.3 shots per game as the primary netminder in goal for Montreal. Price has 15 wins, 28 losses, and six OT losses and has registered a fairly-weak .904 save percentage and 2.98 goals against average this season.

Max Pacioretty (17 goals, 20 assists) will pace the attack for Montreal.

New York Islanders vs. Montreal Canadiens Betting Predictions

NHL Prediction: SU Winner – Canadiens, O/U – Over

Betting Notes

  • The total has gone under in three of Montreal’s last five outings.
  • New York has managed 29.0 shot attempts per game over its last five road games while Montreal is averaging 37.0 shots per game over its last five home outings.
  • Power plays and penalty kills could play a key role in tonight’s game. The Islanders are 11-19 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 19-25 in games where they’re in the box for fewer than 10 total penalty minutes. The Canadiens are 9-13 when the team serves fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 17-27 in games where they’re in the box for less than 10 minutes.
  • Three of Montreal’s last ten games have been decided by a shootout. The team is 0-3 in those games and 2-5 overall in shootouts this season.
  • Montreal is ranked 15th this season with 7.3 takeaways per game. That figure’s trended higher lately, as it has averaged 8.5 takeaways over its last 10 games and 8.4 takeaways over its last five.
  • New York has given up 3.7 goals per game (while scoring just 2.3 goals per contest) over its last three games (0-3 SU over that span).
  • New York is ranked 23rd in the league this season with 6.3 takeaways per game. That figure has trended upward recently, as the team has averaged 7.8 takeaways over its last 10 games and 9.4 takeaways over its last five.