Montreal Canadiens (22-13-3) at Tampa Bay Lightning (23-11-3)
|Date & Time||Saturday December 28, 2013, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Tampa Bay Lightning -116 / Montreal Canadiens +105 --- Over/Under: 5.5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
After a great rebound season following the lockout the Montreal Canadiens have picked up right where they left off. Saturday night they travel to Tampa Bay to take on a Lightning club they're chasing in the Atlantic Division standings. Montreal found a new identity last season and they'e carried it over this year as well. This is a club that has enough to be back in the post season but the question is will they have enough to make some noise when they get there. Last year we saw the Canadiens completely melt down against the Ottawa Senators and it was embarrassing from an organizational stand point. Now it's up to some of these younger players like Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher to step into bigger roles an help take this club to the next level. Carey Price has shown the ability to be an elite goaltender and playing at home in front of their crowd gives them an advantage that not many other teams in the league have. Montreal hasn't been able to get going in December and have been alternation wins and losses of late. After getting beat down by the Blues in St. Louis the Canadiens rebounded with a big victory over the Nashville Predators. P.K. Subban, Max Pacioretty, and Tomas Plekanec scored first period goals for Montreal but the Canadiens coughed up the lead and found themselves deadlocked at 3-3 and heading to overtime. In the extra session it was David Desharnais who saved the win for the Canadiens with his fourth goal of the season. Now they head to Tampa Bay to take on a Lightning club that was playing some great hockey before the Christmas break and they're just itching to get Steven Stamkos back in the lineup. The Lightning have won five straight games and are coming off a dominating 6-1 win over the Florida Panthers on Monday night. Five different players scored for the Lightning who rallied from a 1-0 deficit and scored six consecutive times against Scott Clemmensen. Martin St. Louis continued his fantastic year with his 16th goal of the season. Tampa Bay continues to get production from young players like Alexander Killorn and J.T. Brown scored his third and fourth goals of the year as well. This should be a great game on Saturday night between two evenly matched teams. Right now it's hard to go against the Lightning with the way that they're playing and we're getting them at a fair price on home ice.