On Thursday night, the Pittsburgh Penguins (5-6-4) will try to turn things around when they visit the equally struggling Montreal Canadiens (4-12-2) at the Bell Centre. It’s the first meeting between the two teams this season and the first since the Canadiens eliminated Pittsburgh from the 2019-20 playoffs in the Toronto bubble, although these two teams are a long way away from that caliber of hockey.
Let’s get into our Penguins vs. Canadiens betting pick with player prop predictions, odds, and analysis for this November 18, 2021 matchup.
The Penguins have lost three straight and five-of-six (1-3-2) and have not looked good of late. Three of their last four losses have come against Chicago, Ottawa and Buffalo, teams that, at the time, had lost 11-of-13 (Blackhawks), 9-of-10 (Senators) and 6-of-7 (Sabres). Now they get to face a Montreal team that has also lost 6-of-7.
However, to the Penguins credit, as lackluster as they looked against Ottawa and Washington, they threw everything but the kitchen sink at Buffalo goalie Dustin Tokarski Tuesday, before losing 2-1. They outshot the Sabres 46-19. And, they scored on the power play, so there was progress.
Still, the Penguins can’t like being in seventh place in the Metropolitan Division and having a goal differential of minus-8 and only five wins through 15 games so far this season. They need to turn it around against a Montreal team that can’t score (2.11 goals per game, ranks 31st in the NHL), and gives up a ton of goals (3.39 goals per game, 28th in the NHL). The Canadiens specialty teams are both terrible as well ranking 29thon both the power play and penalty kill.
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Penguins vs. Canadiens Odds
Here are the lines for Penguins vs. Canadiens at FanDuel Sportsbook:
Spread: Penguins (-1.5 +164), Canadiens (+1.5 -205)
Moneyline: Penguins (-164), Canadiens (+136)
Over/Under: Over 5.5 (-122), Under 5.5 (+100)
Bets We Like with a Penguins Win
Penguins to win and UNDER 5.5 goals (+220, DraftKings Sportsbook)
Sidney Crosby has only played three games for the Penguins this season. He picked up an assist in the last game on the power play. But, now he’s speaking out. As the captain of the team, he said entering this game with Montreal, the Penguins have to play with desperation and urgency. You don’t hear that often from Crosby, so you know he means it. And you also know it’s a calculated comment. Look for Pittsburgh to come out fast and hard and jump on the Canadiens. We still think it’s an under game because Montreal’s offense is putrid, but we got to think that Tristan Jarry, who has been really good this season, will want to have a bounce back game after his lone clunker against Washington last week. If Montreal scores one goal, that might be a lot.
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Bets We Like with a Canadiens Win
Cayden Primeau OVER 27.5 saves (-115, FanDuel Sportsbook)
We don’t like Montreal in this game, but if they’re going to win it, they’re going to have to pull it off much like Buffalo did against the Penguins, with a goalie standing on his head. Primeau would likely have to make at least 28 saves to do just that. And even if he doesn’t steal a win for Montreal, this could be a good bet because of the volume of shots we expect Pittsburgh to get in this game.
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Bets We Like Independent of Outcome
Tristan Jarry to allow less than 2.5 goals (-155, BetMGM)
Sticking with the theme that we really believe in the Penguins to snap their skid here, Jarry is going to limit an already inept offense. We wish we could get that down to under 1.5 for better odds (if you can, go for it), because we believe one is the max for Montreal.
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Penguins vs. Canadiens Prediction
The captain has spoken. Publicly. His team will now respond. Sorry Montreal, you take another ‘L’ on home ice.
Prediction: Penguins 4, Canadiens 1
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