Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Montreal Canadiens - 8/1/20 NHL Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Montreal Canadiens - 8/1/20 NHL Pick, Odds, and Prediction Photo by Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Montreal Canadiens (31-31-9) at Pittsburgh Penguins (40-23-6)

NHL Hockey: Saturday, August 1, 2020 at 8:00 pm (Scotiabank Arena)

The Line: Pittsburgh Penguins -165 / Montreal Canadiens +145 --- Over/Under: 6.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The Montreal Canadiens and Pittsburgh Penguins meet Saturday in game one of the NHL East Qualifying action at the Scotiabank Arena.

The Montreal Canadiens entered the NHL break losing five of their last seven games. The Montreal Canadiens are averaging 2.9 goals per game and are scoring on 17.7 percent of their power play opportunities. Tomas Tatar leads Montreal with 22 goals, Max Domi has 27 assists and Brendan Gallagher has 226 shots on goal. Defensively, the Montreal Canadiens are allowing 3.1 goals per game and are killing 78.7 percent of their opponents power plays. Carey Price has given up 160 goals on 1,755 shots faced and Keith Kinkaid has allowed 24 goals on 192 shots.

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The Pittsburgh Penguins entered the NHL break losing eight of their last 11 games. The Pittsburgh Penguins are averaging 3.2 goals per game and are scoring on 19.9 percent of their power play opportunities. Bryan Rust leads Pittsburgh with 27 goals, Evgeni Malkin has 49 assists and Kris Letang has 177 shots on goal. Defensively, the Pittsburgh Penguins are allowing 2.8 goals per game and are killing 82.1 percent of their opponents power plays. Matt Murray has given up 107 goals on 1,055 shots faced and Tristan Jarry has allowed 78 goals on 985 shots.

The Canadiens are 2-7 in their last 9 games as an underdog, 6-15 in their last 21 games playing on 3 or more days rest and 4-10 in their last 14 overall. The Penguins are 5-2 in their last 7 vs. Atlantic, 0-5 in their last 5 playoff games as a favorite and 3-8 in their last 11 overall. The over is 8-3 in Canadiens last 11 overall. The over is 4-0-1 in Penguins last 5 overall. The Canadiens are 2-5 in the last 7 meetings in Pittsburgh and 3-8 in the last 11 meetings.

The Montreal Canadiens didn't look good heading into the unexpected break, and they've lost eight of their last 11 meetings against the Penguins. You can say the Pittsburgh Penguins had their struggles as well, but the break should have helped them not only get healthy but recharge the batteries and get ready for a playoff run. The Penguins are an experienced club that usually plays its best hockey this time of year. I like the Penguins to draw first blood, and I'll take the PL for added value.

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Randy’s Pick Pittsburgh Penguins -1.5

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