Montreal Canadiens at New York Rangers
The Rangers are the favorite in this game, but the Canadiens have won 5 straight and New York is only .500 at home this season.
Montreal Canadiens (35-29-6 76 pts) at New York Rangers (31-29-9, 71 pts)
Bovada has a moneyline for this game with the Rangers as the favorite posted at -145 with the Canadiens are +125 with a total of 5.5 goals.
Tonight in an important Eastern Conference match up the New York Rangers host the Montreal Canadiens. Montreal has won 5 in a row and now have a little bit of a cushion in the East being tied with Philadelphia for sixth with a four point lead over eighth place Boston.
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The Rangers are currently on the outside looking in being in the ninth position in the East, but they only trail Boston by one point. The Rangers have won 2 in a row and are 5-3-2 in their last 10 games.
This season the Rangers are 15-15-6 at home and the Canadiens are 17-16-2 on the road.
Montreal’s five game winning streak is their longest in four years.
One of the main reasons for the Canadiens’ streak is the play of G Jaroslav Halak (22 wins 2.52 GAA save percentage 92.2%), who has been between the pipes in all 5 games with a GAA of 2.29. However, he is only 1-3-0 with a 4.11 GAA in New York in his last four starts there.
The Rangers do not have a great offense, as they only rank 23rd in the league in scoring (2.59 goals per game). The Canadiens’ defense, which is mediocre at best giving up 2.74 goals per game and they have to key on Marian Gaborik, who leads the Rangers in goals (36), assists (37), and points (73).
The Canadiens have really struggled in Madison Square Garden recently, as they have lost six of their last seven games there and have been outscored 24-8.
Montreal also does not have a high scoring offense ranking 20th in the league (2.63 goals per game). They will be facing New York G Henrik Lundqvist (28 wins 2.45 GAA save percentage 91.9%), who has played great at home against the Canadiens going 6-1 with a GAA of only 1.89 in his last seven games against them.
Montreal’s offense has been playing well lately, as they have an Over record of 4-0-1 in their last five games.
Wednesday Big Games
Pittsburgh Penguins at New Jersey Devils
The Penguins are in the second position in the East and the Devils are in fourth place, but they only trail Pittsburgh by two points. New Jersey has the second best home record in the Eastern Conference this season.
Calgary Flames at Colorado Avalanche
The Fames have lost two in a row and they have to start winning, as they are three points out of the last playoff spot in the West. The Avalanche are in the sixth position in the West and have won two games in a row.
Thursday Big Games
San Jose Sharks at Vancouver Canucks
San Jose leads the West, but they have lost two in a row and Vancouver is in third place in the West and has won two in a row. These are two of the highest scoring teams in the league, as the Canucks rank second (3.26 goals per game) and the Sharks rank third (3.21 goals per game).
Chicago Blackhawks at L.A. Kings
Both of these teams are not playing great and Chicago needs to start winning if they are going to move past San Jose for the top spot in the West. The Kings are in the fifth spot in the West and they have to start winning to move up to get in the top four so they can host a first round playoff series.