Panthers vs Canadiens NHL Odds, Picks, Predictions
Pictured: Matthew Tkachuk #19 of the Florida Panthers. (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)
- Montreal hosts Florida on Thursday night.
- Our analyst thinks the Panthers are the better side, but see more value in attacking the total.
- Greg Liodice digs into the matchup and offers up his best bet below.
Panthers vs. Canadiens Odds
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
After an overtime battle against the Maple Leafs, the Florida Panthers head to Montreal to take on the Canadiens. The Panthers have had an up-and-down season after winning the Presidents Trophy last year are are 5-4-1 in their past 10 games.
Montreal has won two in a row and is coming off a convincing win against the red hot Winnipeg Jets. Montreal is just 4-6 in its past 10 games, but there’s a lot of promise for Habs fans.
Here’s a look at our odds, as well as our prediction for the Florida Panthers vs. Montreal Canadiens.
Matthew Tkachuk has been as advertised since coming to South Florida. The power forward is averaging well over a point per game while giving opposing teams fits in the o-zone. Captain Sasha Barkov is the league favorite for the Lady Byng Trophy while Brandon Montour and Carter Verhaeghe are close to point per game averages.
While this hasn’t been the ideal season, the Panthers are still generating a legitimate even strength attack. They’re sixth in expected goals with a 53.88 xGF% and create about 10.5 high danger chances per game.
Florida’s power play has been as good as you’d expect. It ranks toward the middle of the pack, scoring at a 22.2% pace, but the penalty kill leaves much to be desired with only a 75.4% success rate.
I would expect Sergei Bobrovsky to take the net since Spencer Knight is on IR. Bobrovsky hasn’t had an ideal season as he’s playing to a -1.1 goals saved above expected (GSAx), and an .897 SV%.
While the standings don’t favor the Habs, there’s certainly a lot to be excited about in Montreal. Both Cole Caufield and captain Nick Suzuki are lighting up the scoresheet, with Caufield on pace to score 40 goals. Kirby Dach is also enjoying a solid season. There are a lot of injuries for the Canadiens however, as they’re missing out on number one pick Juraj Slafkovsky, Jake Evans, Joel Armia and Brendan Gallagher.
Montreal hasn’t had the same success at even strength as its counterparts. The Habs have a poor 28th ranked expected goals rate (44.22 xGF%), and only generate a little over eight high danger chances per game.
Even with the lack of weapons, I’m surprised the Canadiens’ power play is terrible. It ranks second to last with a 15.9% success rate and the penalty kill only succeeds 74.8% of the time.
The goaltending situation is hard to decipher since Jake Allen is in the process of healing from an injury. When healthy, Allen has played OK with a +0.6 GSAx and an .892 SV%. In his absence, Sam Montembeault has done exceptional, playing to a +6.0 GSAx and a .912 SV%.
Panthers vs. Canadiens Pick
I can see this game being high scoring as both teams are prone to letting in more than a few goals. Both teams also have a few high powered scorers who can tickle the twine. The Habs allow 3.62 goals per game (sixth most), while the Panthers allow 3.41 goals per game, which isn’t far off.
Bobrovsky isn’t having a great season and teams are starting to figure out the Russian. I still think the Panthers will win, but it may be closer than you think. Montreal, despite its injuries, is capable of upsetting teams. Ultimately, I see this game going over the total.
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