Montreal Canadiens (45-24-9) at Florida Panthers (33-34-11)
|Date & Time||Monday April 3, 2017, 7:30 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Florida Panthers +120 / Montreal Canadiens -135 --- Over/Under: 5.5
The Montreal Canadiens travel to the Sunshine State to take on the Florida Panthers in Monday NHL hockey action.
The Montreal Canadiens are heading to the postseason and the only question is whether it’s as the Atlantic Division champions or not. The Canadiens come off a 2-1, overtime victory at the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night that has the Habs standing eight points ahead of the Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs with almost a week remaining before the postseason is about to begin. Montreal can thank Alexander Radulov for the position they are in with his game winning tally just over 50 seconds in to the extra session. Phillip Danault scored in regulation for the Habs and Max Pacioretty logged a pair of helpers to lift Carey Price and his 21 saves to the victory. The Lightning received their lone goal from Yanni Gourde with Andrei Vasilevskiy posting 34 saves in a losing performance.
The Florida Panthers have gone in to a season ending tailspin that has cost them any opportunity there was at securing a postseason berth. The Panthers have dropped eleven of 15 contests following a 5-2 defeat at the hands of the Boston Bruins on Saturday. Neither end of the ice was kind to Florida with Jaromir Jagr and Thomas Vanek scoring goals while Reto Berra absorbed the loss. The Bruins had plenty of firepower at the offensive end with Patrice Bergeron leading the way with a pair of goals with David Krejci, Noel Acciari and Brad Marchand joining the scoring column. Boston received 24 saves from Tuuka Rask who picked up another victory after shutting out the Dallas Stars 2-0 on Thursday.
The Canadiens are 4-0 in their last 4 overall and the Canadiens are 9-1 in their last 10 when their opponent scores 2 goals or less in their previous game while the Canadiens are 8-1 in their last 9 road games. The Panthers are 0-4 in their last 4 after scoring 2 goals or less in their previous game and the Panthers are 0-4 in their last 4 overall while the over is 5-0 in Panthers last 5 when their opponent allows 2 goals or less in their previous game. The under is 3-1-4 in the last 8 meetings in Florida and the Canadiens are 5-2 in the last 7 meetings in Florida while the Canadiens are 2-5 in the last 7 meetings.
I think the Canadiens are the choice but I have to say that the final week of the season can be a crapshoot with many teams having nothing to play for. Goalies have not been confirmed so stay tuned…