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Two teams, playing the second outing of a back-to-back set, are facing off against each other, as the New York Rangers (6th in Metropolitan Division) are playing host to the Montreal Canadiens (4th in Atlantic).
Habs Lose To ColoradoThe current back-to-back stretch of the Montreal Canadiens (12-11-6) started with a defeat, as the team was edged out with a count of 3-2 by the Colorado Avalanche at Bell Centre yesterday. Brendan Gallagher (12 goals, 22 points this year) and Nick Cousins (3 goals, 8 points) scored in the second and third periods respectively after the Avs were already leading 3-0 midway through the contest. It was the ninth loss in the last 10 fixtures (1-6-3) for Montreal, which won three straight games prior. The team is 5-4-3 when playing on the road so far this season.
Goalie Cayden Primeau made his NHL debut with a 32-save performance, registering a .914 save percentage. Carey Price, though, is expected back in the cage for the trip to Manhattan, having recorded an 18-8-1 career total against the New York Rangers with a 2.21 GAA and a .926 save percentage. He is 11-9-3 for the current year with a 3.13 GAA and a .899 save percentage. The Canadiens, meanwhile, are scoring the 10th highest number of goals per game (3.21), while conceding the 4th highest quantity defensively (3.45). They are 14th in power play (19.3%) and 3rd from the bottom in penalty kill (75.0%).
Rangers Snatch Win In OhioJust like Montreal, the New York Rangers (14-10-3) are also in the middle of a back-to-back stretch, having won the first outing by beating the Columbus Blue Jackets with a score of 3-2 at Nationwide Arena yesterday. Artemi Panarin (13 goals, 34 points this year) scored the eventual winner at the end of the second period versus his former team after Brendan Lemieux (5 goals, 12 points) tied the game at 1-1, eight seconds ahead of the first intermission, with Jacob Trouba (4 goals, 15 points) netting a power-play snipe in the following frame. The Blueshirts are 6-2-1 in their past nine matchups and 8-5-2 at Madison Square Garden.
Goalie Alexandar Georgiev (7-4-1 on the year with a 2.98 GAA and a .918 save percentage) stopped 45 shots in Columbus, but will back up Henrik Lundqvist for the visit of the Canadiens. Lundqvist is 7-6-2 for the ongoing campaign with a 3.21 GAA and a .910 save percentage, and has registered a 16-18-3 career total versus Montreal with a 2.80 GAA and a .902 save percentage. The Rangers, meanwhile, are 9th in both most goals scored per game (3.22) and most allowed on average (3.26), 13th in power play (19.4%) and 23rd in penalty kill (76.4%).
NY Rangers (according to Covers.com)
- Rangers are 4-1 in their last 5 games playing on 0 days rest.
- Rangers are 4-1 in their last 5 home games.
Montreal (according to Covers.com)
- Canadiens are 1-9 in their last 10 overall.
- Canadiens are 1-8 in their last 9 vs. Eastern Conference.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The home team has won six of the last eight meetings between the two sides, with the Canadiens only managing one victory on their past five trips to Manhattan. The Rangers are playing well on own ice so far this year, winning four of their previous five domestic contests, and have been quite solid when skating with no rest, triumphing on four of the past five occasions as well. The second outings of their back-to-backs have not ended too well lately for the Canadiens, who have dropped 21 of their previous 29 such decisions. Besides, the Habs are not really playing their best hockey at the moment in general, having managed to win just one of their last 10 games.
Prediction: New York Rangers (-105)
Full-Game Total Pick
This series has delivered some serious amount of goals lately, with three of the past four encounters averaging no less than 8.67 strikes per contest. So, you do want to consider an Over in this one! The very last seven outings of the Canadiens against teams from the Metropolitan Division have already seen plenty of scoring, while 12 of the previous 15 games of the Rangers, played with no rest, have all ended above the set goal-mark.
Prediction: Over 6.5