NHL Odds and Prediction: Flyers vs. Canadiens (April 21)
Jonathan Kozub/Getty Images. Pictured: Montreal Canadiens standout Nick Suzuki.
- The Montreal Canadiens host the Philadelphia Flyers in Thursday's NHL action.
- The Canadiens are -135 moneyline favorites, which lines up with the way analyst Nicholas Martin is playing this game.
- Check out below why he's backing Montreal to earn the home win.
Flyers vs. Canadiens Odds
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Both passionate fanbases might truly be hoping for losses at this point, which makes Thursday’s NHL showdown between the Philadelphia Flyers and Montreal truly a contest only a bettor could love.
Each franchise enters this contest in the midst of a six-game losing streak, but I feel we have some clear value on one side and will be looking to make a play.
Philadelphia has fought through a ton of key injuries and the situation will be nearly as dire as ever entering this contest. Defenders Kevin Connauton and Cam York have recently joined the Injured Reserve list, taken from an already heavily depleted group.
Rasmus Ristolainen will remained sidelined, and as much as that might not be much of net loss with how greatly he has struggled. Even the AHL call up options are getting thin for the Flyers.
Most importantly, Carter Hart will likely remain sidelined, whose play in goal has been one of the biggest positives for Philadelphia.
The Flyers have played to a 40.55 expected goals rate and -19 goal differential over their last six contests. The defensive play has looked as suspect as ever, and even with three of those six games coming against more manageable competition, they have allowed 5.33 goals against per outing.
It’s unclear whether Felix Sandstrom or Martin Jones will start. Jones has struggled to a -11.6 goals saved above expected rating and an .897 save percentage in 32 games, while Sandstrom has been effective — albeit in a tiny sample — with a +4.5 GSAx and a .915 save % in three games played.
Montreal has struggled to a nearly identical xG rate as Philadelphia over its matching losing streak at 40.55 percent. However, I would certainly argue two of its last three outings delivered positive results.
The Canadiens took a tough luck loss Friday against the New York Islanders in Carey Price’s first game back. On Monday, they hung around with a legitimate contender in the Minnesota Wild, who are desperate to stay alive in the race for second in the Central Division.
The 3-2 defeat in Toronto that started this whole slump featured another reasonable effort. And even then, this recent run has altogether been a clear low point in the tenure of Martin St. Louis, which has had the Canadiens showing much more positive form overall.
My expectation is Montreal to get the play back on track and I still believe this group is excited to play as it skates out a lost season.
Price will likely get the start, which is another reason I think we can see the Canadiens put together a highly motivated effort. Price is as competitive a guy as anyone in hockey and means a ton to everybody in that locker room. I’m not big on motivation factors, but you know this group would love to get him his first win in almost a whole calendar year.
Flyers vs. Canadiens Pick
Montreal’s overall play has looked respectable over the last three contests and I think they will finally pay it off with a positive result.
Philadelphia’s back end is in complete shambles, so I think this is a great spot for us to see Montreal find some of the offense it have been due in the losses.
I see this as a pure buy-low spot for the Canadiens against an opponent, whose roster is even more thin, and will be happy to back the hosts at -135 regardless if Price starts.
However, should Price get the nod, I really like this play at -135, as he has looked sharp, and think Montreal would love to get its guy the big win.
Pick: Montreal ML (-135 | Play to -150)