Edmonton Oilers (28-18-4-4 SU, 26-26 PL, 19-31-4 O/U) vs Montreal Canadiens (30-15-6-1 SU, 31-21 PL, 0-0-0 O/U)
When: 1:00 PM ET, Sunday, February 5, 2017
Where: Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec
Lines: Canadiens -156/Oilers +141/
Tonight in the NHL the Edmonton Oilers will brawl with the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec. The Oilers come in off a tough 2-1 loss at Carolina, while the Canadiens have a home game vs the Capitals on Saturday. The Over has gone 6-1 in the last seven meetings between these teams here in Montreal.
Oilers Take A Tough Loss To The Canes
The Edmonton Oilers had been playing well, but they went into the break with a loss to Minnesota and they have come out of the break with road losses to Nashville and Carolina. Their offense has really been a problem over the three-game slide as they have scored just three total goals in the three games. They need to get that offense back, but it won’t be easy vs one of the stingier teams in the league. In their last game they fell at Carolina by a score of 2-1 and while the outshot the Hurricanes 25-23, all they could muster was one goal in the game. Scoring that goal for the Oilers was Connor McDavid, which was his 18th of the year. It was also his 60th point on the year and that leads the league. Despite losing their last two on the road, they are still 15-14 away from home on the year.
Taking the loss against the Hurricanes was Cam Talbot, who has now gone 26-22 with a 2.37 GAA on the year, including 13-11 with a 2.30 GAA on the road, while vs the Canadiens in his career he has gone 2-2 with a 2.16 GAA. The Oilers come into this game ranked 11th in the league in scoring at 2.81 gpg, while also ranking 6th in shots taken (31.3 spg) and 14th in power play conversions, converting on 20.5% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice they check in at 8th in goals allowed, giving up 2.54 gpg, while also ranking 11th in shots allowed (29.9) and 15th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 17.9% of their chances.
Offense Has Been Inconsistent Of Late
The Montreal Canadiens have not played all that well of late and in fact after their hot start to the year they have been very mediocre overall. They are just 5-7 in their last 12 games and the offense really looks like the issue as they have scored one goal or less in six of their last seven loss and five or more in four of their last five wins. The offense has really been inconsistent of late and it has led to their inconsistent play overall. They still lead their division by seven points over the Senators, but after the start they had, this should have been a bigger lead for them in the division. After the first couple of weeks it really looked like the Canadiens were going to win this division very easily, but unless they start playing more consistently on offense, then they will have to sweat out winning the division, even though it is weak.
Carey Price is expected to get the start vs the Capitals, so getting the nod here should be Al Montoya, who has gone 7-6 with a 2.72 GAA on the year, including 1-0 with a 0.00 GAA here at home, while vs the Oilers in his career he has gone 1-1 with a 2.50 GAA. The Canadiens enter this game ranked 7th in the league in scoring at 2.98 gpg, while also ranking 17th in shots taken (29.7 spg) and 3rd in power play conversions, converting on 23.1% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice they have been solid as they are 7th in goals allowed, giving up 2.48 gpg, while also ranking 12th in shots allowed (30.0%) and 22nd in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 20.8% of their chances.
- 3-8 in their last 11 in the fourth game of a 4-in-6 situation
- 10-42 in their last 52 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600
- 19-8 in their last 27 home games
- 9-4 in their last 13 Sunday games
The Canadiens are not playing great hockey at the moment and they are playing on no Rest, but the Oilers have struggled of late as well. Despite the fact that they are playing on no rest I still give the edge to the Canadiens here. The Oilers have played well on the road for the year, but they Habs have been very strong at home and I look for that to continue here, even though the Oilers have really played well in this series of late. Take the Habs in this one.