Ottawa Senators vs. Montreal Canadiens Free Prediction

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

Bell Centre will be hosting an Atlantic Division clash as the Montreal Canadiens welcome the visiting Ottawa Senators. It’s the fourth and last time that these two clubs will meet in the regular season. Sportsnet will broadcast the game, and the puck drops at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, February 4.

Ottawa Senators vs. Montreal Canadiens Odds

Montreal (-165) is currently the favorite over Ottawa (+145), and the oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at 6 goals. The odds for betting the total stand at -125 for the under and +105 for the over. The Canadiens are 21-31 straight up (SU) and have recorded -14.8 units for moneyline bettors this year. That early-season winning percentage is a regression from the 47-35 record that the team managed during the 2016-17 season campaign. Through 52 regular season contests, 28 of its games have gone under the total, while 21 have gone over and just two have pushed. This season, the team is 13-15 SU at home. Montreal has been able to convert on 20.9 percent of its power play chances this season, a mark that places them in the top-10 among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill is rated 24th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 78.4 percent of all penalties. As a collective unit, Montreal has been penalized 3.8 times per game overall this season, 3.4 per game over its last five outings total, and 3.2 per game over its last five at home. The teams had to defend opposition power plays for just 7.0 minutes per game over its last 10 outings, in total. With a .906 save percentage and 27.6 saves per game, Carey Price (14 wins, 23 losses, and four OT losses) has been the primary goalkeeper for the Canadiens this season. If they decide to give him a rest, however, head coach Claude Julien might turn to Antti Niemi (2-9-9 record, .885 save percentage, 4.14 goals against average). Max Pacioretty and Alex Galchenyuk will each lead the charge for the Canadiens. Pacioretty (32 points) is up to 16 goals and 16 assists and has recorded multiple points in six different games this year. Galchenyuk has 12 goals and 18 assists to his name and has notched a point in 22 games. Ottawa is 17-33 straight up (SU) and has lost 18.5 units for moneyline bettors thus far. A total of 25 of its games have gone under the total, while 24 have gone over and none have pushed. As the road team so far, Ottawa is 7-17 SU. Ottawa has converted on just 15.7 percent of its power play chances this year, a mark that’s ranked 29th in the NHL. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 28th overall and it’s successfully killed off 75.3 percent of all opponent power plays. Ottawa’s skaters have been penalized 3.7 times per game in total this season, 3.2 per game over their last five games total, and 3.4 per game over their last five games as the visiting team. The team has had to kill penalties just 7.7 minutes per game over their last 10 outings. Craig Anderson (27.7 saves per game) has been the primary option in the net for Ottawa. Anderson has 14 wins, 23 losses, and five OT losses to his credit, while registering a .903 save percentage and 3.16 goals against average this year. Leading the offensive counter for the visiting Senators will be Mark Stone, who has 18 goals and 26 assists on the year.

Ottawa Senators at Montreal Canadiens Betting Picks

Free NHL Pick: SU Winner – Canadiens, O/U – Under

Betting Trends

  • The total has gone under in three of Montreal’s last five outings.
  • Ottawa has managed 30.8 shot attempts per game over its last five road games while Montreal is averaging 36.2 shots per game over its last five home outings.
  • Penalties and power plays may prove to be even more critical than usual in this game. The Senators are 7-16 in games where they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 11-20 when they serve fewer than 10 total penalty minutes. The Canadiens are 7-10 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 15-23 when they’re in the box for less than 10 minutes.
  • Ottawa is 2-5 in games decided by a shootout this season while Montreal is 2-2 in shootouts.
  • Montreal has created 6.8 takeaways per game over its last five home games, right in line with its season average of 7.0 takeaways per game (ranked 18th overall).
  • Ottawa is ranked 21st this season with 6.9 takeaways per game. That figure has trended lower, however, as the team has created 6.0 takeaways over its last 10 games and 5.2 takeaways over its last five.