The Montreal Canadiens and Florida Panthers meet Saturday in NHL action at the BB&T Center.
The Montreal Canadiens need a win after splitting their last eight games. The Montreal Canadiens are averaging three goals per game and are scoring on 18.5 percent of their power play opportunities. Tomas Tatar leads Montreal with 22 goals, Max Domi has 27 assists and Brendan Gallagher has 222 shots on goal. Defensively, the Montreal Canadiens are allowing 3.1 goals per game and are killing 78.6 percent of their opponents power plays. Carey Price has given up 152 goals on 1,696 shots faced and Keith Kinkaid has allowed 24 goals on 192 shots. The Montreal Canadiens have allowed three or more goals in 11 of their last 16 games.
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The Florida Panthers need a win here to snap a four-game losing streak. The Florida Panthers are averaging 3.4 goals per game and are scoring on 21.9 percent of their power play opportunities. Mike Hoffman leads Florida with 27 goals, Jonathan Huberdeau has 55 assists and Evgenii Dadonov has 161 shots on goal. Defensively, the Florida Panthers are allowing 3.3 goals per game and are killing 78.4 percent of their opponents power plays. Sergei Bobrovsky has given up 151 goals on 1,505 shots faced and Sam Montembeault has allowed 39 goals on 356 shots. The Florida Panthers have allowed three or more goals in 18 of their last 23 games.
The Canadiens are 6-1 in their last 7 Saturday games and 2-5 in their last 7 games as an underdog. The Panthers are 2-5 in their last 7 games as a favorite, 0-8 in their last 8 home games and 0-4 in their last 4 overall. The over is 4-1 in Canadiens last 5 overall. The under is 4-1 in Panthers last 5 overall. The Canadiens are 1-4 in the last 5 meetings in Florida. The favorite is 20-6 in the last 26 meetings.
The home team has won each of the last five meetings between the Canadiens and Panthers, and won eight of the last 10 meetings overall. The Montreal Canadiens haven't had much recent success in the underdog role, and the Panthers are probably coming off their best defensive performance in a Thursday overtime loss to Boston. If the Panthers are going to make an honest effort at a playoff spot, they better start winning these home games. I'll lay the cheap price with the desperate Panthers on their home ice.