NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction & Expert Pick: Rangers vs. Canadiens (March 9)

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction & Expert Pick: Rangers vs. Canadiens (March 9) article feature image

Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images. Pictured: Patrick Kane.

  • The Montreal Canadiens host the New York Rangers on Thursday night.
  • The Patrick Kane era in New York is off to a rocky start, but Montreal presents a get-right spot for Kane and New York.
  • Continue reading for Nicholas Martin’s analysis and betting picks for Rangers vs. Canadiens.

Rangers vs. Canadiens Odds

Rangers Odds-275
Canadiens Odds+220
Time7 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The New York Rangers hope a well-timed, five-day layoff well help right the ship, as they suffered back-to-back regulation losses to start the Patrick Kane era last week versus Ottawa and Boston.

The Montreal Canadiens has been far scrappier than their current four-game losing streak suggests, but are still priced at +220 to shock the Rangers on Thursday.

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New York Rangers

Each of New York's performances last week — versus Philly, Ottawa and Boston — were of the notably poor variety, and even a 1-2-0 mark might have been generous to the quality of play.

However, New York was skating through some significant roster impairments over that stretch.

Due to the suspension to K'Andre Miller, injury to Ryan Lindgren and cap constraints from the Patrick Kane trade, the Rangers were forced to play those contests short one defenseman.

Playing three games in four nights with a short roster was never going to be a good recipe, and to make matters worse, Miller and Lindgren both play key roles on the top two defensive pairings.

Kane was also unable to practice with the team at any point prior to those games. Ultimately, it was clear last week was quite a scramble for New York.

Kane was able to take practice with the team this week, and skates on a loaded top power-play unit. He has generated 40% of his points this season on a 28th-ranked Chicago power play, but should see an uptick in PP production on what projects to be an elite Rangers unit.

Igor Shesterkin should get the start for New York. He has played to a +12.5 GSAx rating and .909 save % in 44 appearances.

Montreal Canadiens

Despite losing four straight, Montreal is still competing at a high level, but a lack of true NHL play driving players was always going to hamper a roster destined for the draft lottery this season.

Over the last 10 matchups, Montreal has played to a 43.64 xGF%, which is actually markedly better than its overall average this season. Mike Matheson and Joel Edmundson have both made strong returns to a young defensive core that desperately needed reinforcements.

However, Montreal is still not likely to control much of the overall run of play in this matchup versus a rested Rangers side, which can often times lead to a parade to the penalty box.

That's been the case on a lot of nights this season for the Canadiens, who have taken the sixth-most penalties in the league at 4.34 per game and killed off just 74.3% of those infractions.

Sam Montembeault is likely to start for Montreal. He has been excellent this season, as evidenced by a +11.5 GSAx and .905 save % in 27 appearances.

Rangers vs. Canadiens Pick

This presents as an excellent get-right spot for the Rangers, who had some very valid excuses for poor performances the last two times out.

Backing New York to cover the spread at -110 would be my lean, but I feel there are a few props that hold a little more value.

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One of the greatest reasons Kane can help New York is what he brings to an extremely talented top power-play unit, which has now had some practice time to gel.

Montreal's penalty kill has been in better form recently, but still in all likelihood will trend toward middle of the pack or worse over a large sample — and, as noted, takes far more than average.

Kane is priced at +132 to record a power-play point, and I like that number as New York's PP should be a massive strength moving forward.

Kane points are also quite likely to involve Artemi Panarin, with the two being double correlated both skating on power play one and even strength line two together.

bet365 users can parlay both to get a point and New York to win at +115, which is an option I like, and certainly a fun look if you are a Rangers fan.

Picks: Patrick Kane power-play point (+132); Bet365 SGP

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