Montreal Canadiens (41-18-6) at Arizona Coyotes (21-37-7)
|Date & Time||Saturday March 7, 2015, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Arizona Coyotes +175 / Montreal Canadiens -195 --- Over/Under: 5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+. Start your 7-day FREE trial today!|
After what has been a season with virtually no turmoil the Montreal Canadiens finally find themselves in the midst of a losing streak. The Canadiens enter Saturday night’s contest with the woeful Arizona Coyotes losers of three straight games. The losses have allowed the Tampa Bay Lightning to close the gap in the Atlantic Division standings, now trailing the Canadiens by just two points overall. If nothing else Montreal would just like to get a win and end this terrible West Coast trip with a couple of points. It started last Monday night in San Jose and the Canadiens played one of their worst games of the season, losing to the Sharks by a 4-0 final. Wednesday night Montreal played a little better but it still wasn’t enough against a very good Anaheim club as they fell 3-1. Thursday night at the Staples Center it was another opportunity to get back on track, but the result was a bit of a mixed back. The Canadiens played another terrible game, getting out shot 13-2 in the opening period and managing just 18 total shots for the game. Luckily, Jonathan Quick had an even worse game than Montreal did and allowed them to stay in it. Trailing 2-0 in the second period the Canadiens got goals from Tom Gilbert and Brendan Gallagher 1:34 apart in the second period to even the score. Max Pacioretty gave the Canadiens the lead with his 31st of the season in the third period but the Kings would tie things up on the power play with under a minute to play in regulation. David Desharnais and Pacioretty scored in the shootout, but Dustin Tokarski allowed three of the four Kings shooters he faced to score and lift Los Angeles to a 4-3 win. Now the Canadiens will try and salvage something from this trip with a win over a club that finally got a win after 10 consecutive losses.
The Arizona Coyotes are doing everything in their power to get themselves back in the hunt for a top two draft pick in June, but they finally felt what it was like to win again on Thursday. Wearing throw back jerseys to honor Jeremy Roenick, the Coyotes found a way to steal a game from a Vancouver Canucks club that’s fighting for a playoff spot. Tobias Rieder gave the Coyotes the lead with his 10th goal of the season with a minute remaining in the first period, and that would be all the scoring between these two clubs until the third. Mike Smith has had an absolutely horrific season, but his play in the middle frame allowed the Coyotes to find a way to win on this night. Smith stopped all 10 shots he faced in a second period that saw the Coyotes register just two shots on goal. B.J. Crombeen gave the Coyotes a 2-0 lead with his second of the season early in the third period, but since the Coyotes can’t do anything easily they allowed the Canucks to score twice and send the game into overtime. In the shootout it was Sam Gagner scoring the only goal to lift Arizona to a 3-2 win. General manager Don Maloney completely overhauled this club as he looks toward the future and with the amount of young prospects this team has it certainly looks bright. The rest of this season isn’t going to amount to much but brighter days and ahead.
The Canadiens have struggled but it’s hard to see them losing to a club like this when they’re desperate to snap this losing streak. Montreal is a pretty heavy favorite so the puck line is the play in this one.