Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Montreal Canadiens - NHL Playoff Series Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Montreal Canadiens - NHL Playoff Series Pick, Odds, and Prediction Photo by Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Montreal Canadiens vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

TBD

The Line: Montreal Canadiens +170 / Pittsburgh Penguins -195 -- Over/Under:

TV: TBD

The Montreal Canadiens and Pittsburgh Penguins meet in a five-game NHL play-in series. 

The Montreal Canadiens ended their regular season losing 10 of their last 14 games and riding three-game losing streak, as they’ve scored a combined three goals in their last three games. The Montreal Canadiens averaged 2.9 goals per game while allowing 3.1 goals per game. The Montreal Canadiens are averaging 34.1 shots per game while scoring on 17.7 precent of their power plays, and they’re allowing 31.1 shots per game while killing 78.7 percent of their power plays. Tomas Tatar leads the Canadiens with 22 goals, Phillip Danault has 34 assists and Brendan Gallagher has 226 shots. Carey Price has allowed 160 goals on 1,755 shot attempts and Charlie Lindgren has given up 20 goals on 178 shots faced. You could argue no team was colder than the Montreal Canadiens entering the unwanted break, but the beauty for them is not knowing how any of these clubs are going to respond after being out of work for a few months.

The Pittsburgh Penguins ended their regular season losing eight of their last 11 games and allowing four or more goals in six of those contests. The Pittsburgh Penguins averaged 3.2 goals per game while allowing 2.8 goals per game. The Pittsburgh Penguins are averaging 31.9 shots per game while scoring on 19.9 precent of their power plays, and they’re allowing 29.7 shots per game while killing 82.1 percent of their power plays. Bryan Rust leads the Penguins with 27 goals, Evgeni Malkin has 49 assists and Kris Letang has 177 shots. Tristan Jarry has allowed 78 goals on 985 shot attempts and Matt Murray has given up 107 goals on 1,055 shots faced. The Pittsburgh Penguins obviously weren’t in great form the last time we saw them, but this is an experienced club that’s won two of the last four Stanley Cups, so certainly don’t count them out so quickly. 

You can make a case for the plus money and the Montreal Canadiens simply due to not knowing how any of these teams are going to respond from being off for so long and being thrown into a short series. Anything can happen at this point. The problem is the Montreal Canadiens are the worst team in this field if we're going off the regular season and there was little reason to get behind them as they sat 10 points out of a playoff spot in the East. The Pittsburgh Penguins are healthy and a veteran club that's used to deep playoff success and knows what it takes to win as they chase a Stanley Cup. It's just a bad matchup for the Montreal Canadiens.

There's better bets out there in terms of odds, but the Penguins should win this series.

 

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Randy’s Pick Pittsburgh Penguins -195

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a Sports Chat Place site consensus.