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Friday NHL Odds, Picks, Prediction: New York Islanders vs. Montreal Canadiens Betting Preview

Friday NHL Odds, Picks, Prediction: New York Islanders vs. Montreal Canadiens Betting Preview article feature image
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Claus Andersen/Getty Images. Pictured: Nick Suzuki #14 of the Montreal Canadiens.

  • The New York Islanders head north of the border to take on the Montreal Canadiens in Friday's NHL meeting.
  • The Islanders are solid -145 road favorites, but analyst Nicholas Martin has found betting value on the total.
  • Check out below to see which side he's landed on ahead of this contest.

Islanders vs. Canadiens Odds

Islanders Odds -145
Canadiens Odds +120
Over/Under 5.5 (-120 / +100)
Time 7 p.m. ET
TV ESPN+
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

New York will head to Montreal looking to continue skating out a frustrating campaign with pride, and avoid its official elimination from postseason contention with a win.

Montreal have fallen into quite a rut themselves, having lost three straight and nine of the last 12 games, while allowing a ton of goals against.

Can Montreal show more of the form we saw early on in Coach Martin St. Louis’ tenure and find some offensive support for its star goaltenders debut?

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New York Islanders

The Islanders have competed quite respectably outside of the first two month’s of this season, but ultimately that will have the Islanders coming up just shy of the postseason in 2022.

The Islanders have generated offense more effectively of late, and will be in a good spot to do here against a Canadiens team that haS allowed the league’s highest xGA/60 over the last month by a relatively wide margin.

Barry Trotz’s traditionally defensive-minded hockey club has played in a surprising amount of high-scoring contests recently. Over the last 12 games Islanders games average a total of 6.5 combined goals, with the over hitting in eight of those games.

The Islanders have been quite resilient throughout Trotz’s tenure, and after a disappointing home-and-home with the Pens, they will look to play to that strength, in what could certainly be seen as a letdown spot playing the second of a road back-to-back.

Semyon Varlamov will likely get the start here, and has played to a +0.9 goals saved above expected rating with a .914 save % throughout 28 games played.

Montreal Canadiens

The Canadiens have still illustrated some clear positives under St. Louis, but it was probably never realistic for this roster to continue with the notable surge in results seen at the beginning of his reign.

Over the last month Montreal has been outplayed considerably overall, allowing a very high 4.05 xGA/60 rating, and generating far less at the other end creating a 39.97 xGF% altogether.

Defensively I just do not think the pieces are with the club right now to shore up the high number of chances allowed by any sort of significant margin, but I still expect on the better nights we can see this speedy young group create some looks.

Friday could present exactly that occasion, and I think we will see St. Louis’ group control a surprising amount of the play at home and find a way to generate some offense.

It sounds likely Carey Price will make his first start of the season here, which should bring a ton of energy to one of hockey’s greatest atmospheres.

It’s hard to say what to expect from Price, but to expect him to put himself in this position should he not believe he is ready to play at a high level would be foolish.

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Islanders vs. Canadiens Pick

Although I have stated a number of times of late that totals of 5.5 would become more common down the stretch and into the playoffs and justifiably so, I do not think this sets up as a deserving spot for that lower number.

Montreal have defended quite poorly all season long and have continued to do so of late, and I think we can see the Islanders still find some breakdowns from this soft young defense core in this spot.

However I can see Montreal coming out with some energy at home and finding a way to create some offense themselves, and I think we could see somewhat of a back and forth contest with both finding some offense.

A total of 5.5 looks a half goal low to me in this spot, and I see value backing the game total to go over that mark at -120, and would play 5.5 down to -135. I think Montreal could definitely surprise here, and do not see this as a good spot to back an older Islanders team on a back-to-back in Game 74.

Pick: Over 5.5 -120

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