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The Vegas Golden Knights (25-19-6, points 56) head north of the border on Saturday to visit the Montreal Canadiens (21-21-7, 49 points). Vegas will arrive in Montreal looking to extend its win streak to two straight after defeating the Ottawa Senators 4-2 on Thursday. With the win Vegas stayed within one point of first place in the Pacific Division tied with Vancouver and behind Arizona and Calgary.
Montreal won its last outing 4-1 over the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night. Ilya Kovalchuk scored two goals for Montreal in the win while goalie Carey Price stopped 40 of the 41 shots he faced on net. Montreal swept the season series this season against the Flyers.
Vegas amidst fighting struggle to wrest away first placeNot very often do you see five teams locked in a battle at this point in the season for first place, but Vegas is in the middle of a battle with four other Pacific Division teams and just two points separate the five. The Golden Knights kept pace with the others by defeating Ottawa 4-2 on Thursday but still remain one point behind both Calgary and Arizona.
Max Pacioretty is the leader in goals scored for Vegas with 20 and in total points with 50. Mark Stone has returned to action and he leads the Golden Knights in assists with 28. The Vegas power-play is 21.9% while the penalty kill is just 78.8%. Marc-Andre Fleury and the Vegas defense is allowing an average of 3.02 goals per game while the offense generates nearly exactly the same at 3.04 goals-per-game
Montreal needs wins to get back into the playoff raceThe Montreal Canadiens won their last outing 4-1 over the Philadelphia Flyers but are far off the pace in the Atlantic division with 49 points. Montreal sits in 13th Place in the Eastern Conference. The Canadiens are 7 points shy of the eighth and final spot in the playoff race and must string together victories quickly or fall out of contention.
Tomas Tatar leads the Montreal Canadiens in goals scored with 17 as well as in assists with 26 and total points with 43. Carey Price and the Montreal blue line are allowing an average of 3.10 goals per game while the offense generates slightly less at 3.02 goals-per-game. The Canadiens power play is working just 20.7% of the time while the penalty kill is 78.6%.
- Montreal is 6-2 in the last 8 versus a team from the Pacific division
- Vegas is 1-4 over the last five
- The Golden Knights are 2-5 in the last 7 versus an Eastern Conference team
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Although the Vegas Golden Knights will be favored in this matchup, Montreal on its home ice with Carey Price in net will surprise the Golden Knights on Saturday. The Canadiens have defeated Vegas in four of the last five games between the two. Vegas has lost four of its last five and five of the last seven versus an opponent from the Eastern Conference.
Prediction: Montreal Canadiens
Full-Game Total Pick
The total has gone under in each of Montreal's last five and in each of the Canadiens last nine on their home ice. Carey Price is allowing just 2.82 goals per game for the Canadians. The total has gone under in four of the Golden Knights last five when playing against a team from the Atlantic division.