Montreal Canadiens vs. Pittsburgh Penguins - 11/18/14 NHL Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Pittsburgh Penguins (12-3-1) at Montreal Canadiens (14-4-1)
NHL Hockey: Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at 7:30 pm (Bell Centre)
The Line: Montreal Canadiens +109 / Pittsburgh Penguins -120 --- Over/Under: 5 See the Latest Odds
It was one of the strangest endings to a hockey game anyone will ever see but the Pittsburgh Penguins are just thankful they were on the right side of it. Pittsburgh’s match up with the New York Rangers on Saturday night had everything you could ask for in a hockey game that took place in mid-November. Speed and skating, great goaltending, vicious hits, playoff intensity, and an absolutely wild ending. Blake Comeau gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead in this game that lasted for a total of 15 seconds before the Rangers tied things. New York would then convert on the power play to take a 2-1 lead with them into the second period. Pittsburgh’s penalty kill has been excellent this season but the Rangers seem to be the one team that knows how to solve it. Pittsburgh took over in the second period, out shooting the Rangers 15-6 and evening things up when Evgeni Malkin’s shot hit the post and deflected in off the back of Henrik Lundqvist. The third period was more conservative for both teams but both had their chances. After a scoreless frame the teams went to overtime and Sidney Crosby had a break away right off the face off but couldn’t convert. New York would get a breakaway of their own that resulted in Rob Scuderi taking down Chris Kreider and giving the Rangers a 4-on-3 power play. Pittsburgh’s penalty killers rose to the occasion on this one and sent the game into a shootout. Things got crazy in the skills competition when New York’s Dan Boyle appeared to score the game-winning goal on Marc-Andre Fleury. Both teams left the ice but the play was reviewed and it was ruled that Boyle’s stick made contact with the puck a second time after it hit the post and the goal was disallowed. Once the teams returned to the ice it was Brandon Sutter who beat Lundqvist five hole and Fleury then stopped Rick Nash to give the Penguins a strange 3-2 victory. There was a lot of emotion in this one and it was a fun and fast paced game to watch. Pittsburgh should expect the same type of game when they face the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night.
Montreal is in the midst of a hot streak, winners of six straight games as they sit at 14-4-1 on the year and in first place in the Atlantic Division. During the winning streak they’ve outscored their opponents 24-7 and there’s a lot to feel good about in you’re a Canadiens fan. Sunday the club took on the Detroit Red Wings and despite not playing well at all the Canadiens still found a way to win thanks to the play of their goaltender. Brandon Prust got Montreal on the board with his first goal coming early in the second period. Prust held onto the puck on a 2-on-1 and ripped a wrist shot past Jimmy Howard. A little over five minutes later it was P.K. Subban who was the beneficiary of a very lucky bounce. Subban’s blast from the point was heading five feet wide of goal but deflected of a Red Wings defenseman and past Howard to double the lead. Montreal took the 2-0 lead with them into the third period and Tomas Plekanec converted his seventh goal of the season less than two minutes in to make it a 3-0 game before Detroit really started to come hard. Dustin Tokarski allowed a power play goal but stopped the other 18 shots he faced in the period en route to his third win of the year as the Canadiens held on 4-1. Brendan Gallagher finished the scoring with his fifth of the season. Michel Therrien is doing a really good job with this club again this year and Tuesday night will be a nice test. Keeping your club motivated during a lengthy winning streak like this is always hard to do and if the Penguins play like they did on Saturday night in this one it’s going to be extremely hard for them to keep it going. The good news for Montreal is that they get the Penguins at home where they’re 8-2-0 on the year.
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It’s interesting that the Penguins are a road favorite in this one despite the streak that the Canadiens have been on. It’s hard to bet against Montreal on home ice with the way they’ve been playing but a winning streak like this has got to come to an end sooner or later.