Senators vs. Canadiens NHL Odds, Picks, Predictions: Montreal Holds Upper Hand in Matchup (March 19)

Senators vs. Canadiens NHL Odds, Picks, Predictions: Montreal Holds Upper Hand in Matchup (March 19) article feature image

David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Montreal Canadiens standout Nick Suzuki.

  • The Montreal Canadiens host the Ottawa Senators in Saturday's NHL showdown.
  • The Canadiens are solid ML favorites ahead of this clash of Canadian clubs and look to secure the victory.
  • Nicholas Martin breaks down the matchup below and details why he's backing Montreal.

Senators vs. Canadiens Odds

Senators Odds+120
Canadiens Odds-145
Time7 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

After an 8-2-1 tear under new head coach Martin St. Louis, the Montreal Canadiens have lost back-to-back contests this week and look to get right in Saturday's showdown against the Ottawa Senators.

Will Montreal be able to get back in the win column or is the newfound success under St. Louis likely to be just a flash in the pan? Let's take a look at this matchup and see if we can find some betting value.

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Ottawa Senators

Ottawa's 3-1 result over Philadelphia marked just the third victory for the club in the last 11 contests. Looking toward some of the competition faced, it's certainly not a good comment toward the form this group is offering.

The Senators effectively began life without top defender Thomas Chabot, but were catching a Philadelphia team featuring little in the way of offensive prowess in a very favorable back-to-back spot. Moving forward, that loss should cause problems for Ottawa with a  lack of talent on the back end.

With Anton Forsberg having played against Philadelphia, we should see Filip Gustavsson draw the start in goal, which is another cause for concern. Gustavsson has struggled to a -6.3 goals saved above expected rating with an .890 save percentage throughout 14 games.

Montreal Canadiens

It would be fair to say that Monday's 6-3 bombardment by the Arizona Coyotes was the worst performance seen from the Canadiens during the St. Louis era, but the group responded with a positive fight in a 4-3 overtime defeat at the hands of the Dallas Stars in Wednesday's meeting.

Overall, the Canadiens have looked like a whole new team under St. Louis. In the last 13 games, Montreal has posted an 8-3-2 record, with a 50.98 expected goals rate. They have fallen into a small lull over the last week, but I still am buying into this turnaround.

I like this spot for Montreal to find its way back into the win column. With Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki leading the charge, the Canadiens have found some scoring touch. And while the offense might not be overly deep, I like more of what they have to offer in that regard than the depleted Senators.

Jake Allen will likely start after a reasonable return from injury Thursday against Dallas. Allen has stopped .900 percentage of shots faced, with a -6.2 goals saved above expected rating through 25 games.

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Senators vs. Canadiens Pick

As you might expect with the bodies out of the lineup and the talent left on hand, the Senators have not dominated offensively of late. They caught Philadelphia in a favorable spot and managed a rare win, but I still don't feel confident in this team's ability to win games right now.

Montreal has continued to play better under St. Louis, so I like the Canadiens chances to get back into the win column after what was another very reasonable performance against Dallas.

This is one where I could see an even run of play, but I'm still willing to back the Canadiens based on the current lineups ability to finish and create scoring plays compared to the Senators.

At -140, I feel we have enough of an edge to look to Montreal in this favorable spot and I would back them down to -145 odds.

Pick: Montreal ML (-145 | Play to -155)

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