Canadiens at Rangers Odds, Pick, Prediction: New York Will Roll at Home
Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured; Chris Kreider
- The Rangers have become a much bigger favorite over the Canadiens in the last 24 hours, going from -165 to -190 a few hours ahead of puck drop at Madison Square Garden.
- New York's underlying metrics haven't been impressive for most of the year because the Rangers are turning a bit of a corner, while the Habs continue to struggle after reaching the Stanley Cup Final last season.
- Get our full Rangers vs. Canadiens preview and pick below.
Canadiens vs. Rangers Odds
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds and Futures Odds here.|
The 9-3-3 New York Rangers are set to welcome the 4-11-2 Montreal Canadiens to Madison Square Garden for the second meeting this season between these two Original Six franchises.
These two teams met a month ago when the Rangers spoiled Montreal’s home opener in a 3-1 win. These teams have trended in opposite directions since that night.
The Rangers currently boast the sixth-best points percentage in the NHL, while Montreal ranks 31st. Is this game as big a mismatch as the standings imply?
Montreal’s Disastrous Season Continues
Montreal received some encouraging news last week when it was announced that Carey Price was nearing a return. But until he is back and ready, the Habs need to find a way to stop the bleeding.
But it’s not really the goaltending that has sunk the Habs so far. Neither Jake Allen (.903 save percentage and -1.0 Goals Saved Above Expected in 14 games) nor Samuel Montembeault (.890 save percentage and -4.9 GSAX) have been very good, but their struggles aren’t the main reason this team has floundered — it’s been a team-wide effort.
The Canadiens rank 31st in scoring, 29th in goals allowed per game and have a -22 goal differential, so there’s plenty of blame to go around at the Bell Centre.
The silver lining here is that the Canadiens are actually above 50% in expected goals rate and high-danger chance rate at 5-on-5, meaning they are not getting caved in at even strength, they just are not executing nearly enough. Montreal owns the third-worst shooting percentage (5.52) at 5-on-5 and their 97.4 PDO (shooting + save percentage at 5-on-5) is the the fifth-lowest in the NHL.
For more odds on the Canadiens, please refer to this page.
Is New York’s Success Sustainable?
The New York Rangers may not look like a 9-3-3 team night in and night out, but teams that make the playoffs find ways to win even when they’re not at their best. And for now, that’s what the Blueshirts have been able to do.
The Rangers rank 21st in 5-on-5 goal differential, 30th in expected goals rate and 31st in high-danger scoring chance rate at 5-on-5, but they are getting wins thanks to the production of their star players. The team’s MVP thus far is undoubtedly goaltender Igor Shesterkin, who ranks third in the NHL with a +10.4 GSAX, but he’s getting some support from the top of the roster.
Adam Fox has played at a Norris Trophy level once again, Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanejad are starting to fill the statsheet and Chris Kreider has been terrific with 11 goals. The Rangers may not be getting a lot from the rest of the roster, but when you have star talents playing at such a high level, you can still win games.
Shesterkin is expected to get the start for the Rangers, but Gerard Gallant has been notably coy in naming his netminder. Be sure to keep an eye on who is in goal, as there is a pretty steep dropoff between Shesterkin and Alexandar Georgiev.
For more odds on the Rangers, please refer to this page.
Canadiens vs. Rangers Pick
Shesterkin put on a show the last time these two met and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he’s able to do it once again, as the already snakebit Canadiens are likely to be without Mike Hoffman and Jonathan Drouin up front. Throw in that Jake Allen is expected to miss this game, meaning Cayden Primeau or Samuel Montembeault will get the start. Either way, it’s a pretty big mismatch in the blue paint if Igor gets the nod for the Blueshirts.
Although the numbers point to regression for both of these clubs, I think the injuries and goaltending situation for Montreal is too dicey to get involved with and wouldn’t be surprised if this game ends in a blowout. I am confident that the Rangers can get the separation needed to get the job done in 60 minutes.
Pick: New York Rangers to win in regulation (-115)