Vancouver Canucks (20-19-4) at Montreal Canadiens (21-14-5)
|Date & Time||Thursday January 3, 2019, 7:30 PM (EST)|
The Line: Montreal Canadiens -185 / Vancouver Canucks +150 --- Over/Under: 6
The Vancouver Canucks and Montreal Canadiens meet Thursday in NHL action at the Bell Centre.
The Vancouver Canucks look for another victory after winning six of their last nine games. The Vancouver Canucks are averaging 2.9 goals per game and are scoring on 17.8 percent of their power play opportunities. Elias Pettersson leads Vancouver with 19 goals, Nikolay Goldobin has 18 assists and Bo Horvat has 117 shots on goal. Defensively, the Vancouver Canucks are allowing 3.1 goals per game and are killing 77.8 percent of their opponents power plays. Jacob Markstrom has given up 82 goals on 909 shots faced and Anders Nilsson has allowed 37 goals on 353 shots. The Vancouver Canucks have allowed three or less goals in seven of their last nine games.
The Montreal Canadiens look for another victory after winning four of their last five games. The Montreal Canadiens are averaging 3.2 goals per game and are scoring on 13.4 percent of their power play opportunities. Brendan Gallagher leads Montreal with 15 goals, Max Domi has 23 assists and Jonathan Drouin has 103 shots on goal. Defensively, the Montreal Canadiens are allowing 3.2 goals per game and are killing 76.6 percent of their opponents power plays. Carey Price has given up 83 goals on 868 shots faced and Antti Niemi has allowed 44 goals on 371 shots. The Montreal Canadiens have allowed three or less goals in six of their last eight games.
The Canucks are 21-44 in their last 65 Thursday games, 17-36 in their last 53 road games and 2-9 in their last 11 games playing on 0 days rest. The Canadiens are 4-0 in their last 4 Thursday games, 4-1 in their last 5 vs. Pacific and 4-1 in their last 5 overall. The Canucks are 0-5 in the last 5 meetings in Montreal and 3-13 in the last 16 meetings. The under is 7-2 in Canadiens last 9 vs. Western Conference. The under is 3-0-2 in Canucks last 5 overall.
The Vancouver Canucks are playing good enough hockey right now to consider as a big underdog, but they're on the end of a back to back and playing on the road, two things they don't usually handle well. The Montreal Canadiens have also owned the Canucks over the years, which includes wins in eight of the last 10 meetings and each of the last six. There's a lot going against the Canucks in this matchup. I'll back the Montreal Canadiens on their home ice.