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Nashville Predators vs. Montreal Canadiens - 12/21/13

Montreal Canadiens (21-13-3) at Nashville Predators (16-16-3)

NHL Hockey: Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 7:00 pm (Bridgestone Arena)

The Line: Nashville Predators +100 / Montreal Canadiens -110 --- Over/Under: 5 See the Latest Odds


The Nashville Predators host the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night in a matchup between two struggling teams.

Montreal is coming off of an embarrassing 5-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues, which highlighted the club’s inability to find the twine. The Habs have lost four of its last six games, and Michel Therrien is questioning the team’s focus.  Montreal has been hampered with slow starts, and has only scored seven goals in the last six contests. A bright spot for the Canadiens has been the consistent play of Carey Price. Price, who is confirmed in net against Nashville, ranks among the league leaders between the pipes with a 2.07 GAA.

Nashville Predators vs. Montreal Canadiens - 12/21/13

Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

The Predators have lost seven of the last ten games and the horizon doesn’t look much brighter in Nashville. Pekka Rinne has been out of the lineup since late October with an E.Coli infection, but Nashville was dealt a blow when news was released that Rinne will miss at least another two weeks. The Preds had been receiving serviceable goaltending from backups Carter Hutton and Marek Mazanec until late. Hutton was pulled on Thursday in the second period after allowing four goals on just 14 shots. Mazanec, who has a 2.44 GAA this season is the likely starter against Montreal.

While I think getting Daniel Briere back in the lineup will be a lift for Montreal, I’m not sure just how much offensive help Briere will offer, considering he has gone pointless over the last seven games. Four of the last five Canadiens games have stayed under the total and each of the five previous meetings between these two teams has been under the total as well. The under looks to be the best play for this game given the lack of offensive production and firepower on both sides coupled with good goaltending.

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