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NHL Betting: Sens, Canadiens

It’s a relatively quiet Tuesday in NHL betting, with just five games on the schedule, but a crucial Northeast Division matchup should draw lots of action. The Ottawa Senators visit the Montreal Canadiens at 7:00 p.m. ET. Bovada has Montreal as a -160 favorite on the moneyline with the over/under at five goals.

As well as Carey Price has played for Montreal of late, it’s enough for bettors to wonder if five goals is too high of a total. Of Montreal’s 27 games this season, a whopping 20 have gone UNDER the total. That’s mainly because Price has been so stingy in goal. He already has 16 wins, a 1.96 goals-against average and a .935 save percentage this season. Many pundits consider him the Vezina Trophy frontrunner and perhaps even an MVP candidate.

The Ottawa Senators are 27th in the NHL with just 2.2 goals and 27.9 shots per game. Against Montreal’s second-ranked defense and top-ranked penalty kill, that doesn’t sound like a recipe for offense. Daniel Alfredsson leads the Sens in scoring with just 18 points in 28 games.

The UNDER looks like a safe bet in Tuesday’s NHL odds. But the only thing that should give NHL betting fans pause about picking the Montreal Canadiens is the head-to-head trend. The Sens have won five of their last six trips to Montreal and the underdog has won seven of 10 in this series. Then again, maybe all previous trends are irrelevant with Carey Price playing so well.

All eyes will be on the rare cross-conference matchup between the San Jose Sharks and the Philadelphia Eagles on Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. ET. The Flyers are a virtual shoo-in to be the favorite on the NHL odds. Are they drinking the same Kool-Aid as the Eagles? Like their football brothers, the Flyers have been an offensive juggernaut this year. They rank third in the NHL with 3.4 goals per game.

As any Philadelphia Flyers fan could’ve predicted at the beginning of the season, the key to their success has been tremendous depth. Four different Flyer players have at least 10 goals already this season.

Philly won’t have an easy task against the Sharks. San Jose hasn’t been its usual powerhouse self this season but has shown signs of life lately. The Sharks have scored at least four goals in eight of their last 11 games.

These two teams last met in November 2009, with the Sharks winning 6-3 in Philadelphia on the strength of a Dany Heatley hat trick. The winning goalie that night for San Jose, however, was the now-departed Evgeni Nabokov.