National Hockey League action on Tuesday evening and a pair of teams from the Atlantic Division will square off as the Florida Panthers rumble with the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec. The Panthers enter this game off a 5-1 loss to the Canucks on the road, while the Habs are off a 3-2 road win over the Bruins in OT.
Panthers Get Pounded By The Canucks
The Florida Panthers are really struggling at the moment as they enter this game having lost their last six games in a row. Florida is now in 6th place in the Atlantic Division and 13th in the Eastern Conference. They are currently 30 points out of first in their division and 12 points out of the 8th spot in the East. The Panthers come in off a 5-1 loss to the Canucks on the road and they are now 0-4 on this current road trip. The game was tied 1-1 in the 3rd before the Canucks scored four unanswered goals in the final 12:40 of the game. Two of the goals were empty-netters. Scoring their lone goal was Frank Vatrano, which was his 13th of the year.
Canucks Pull Away Late in 5-1 Win Over #FlaPanthers
— Florida Panthers (@FlaPanthers) January 14, 2019
Absorbing the loss to the Canucks was Roberto Luongo, who allowed three goals on 34 shot attempts. Vancouver got two empty-net goals in the win. Luongo is now 8-12 with a 3.35 GAA and a .892 save percentage on the year, including 4-9 with a 3.78 GAA and a .881 save percentage on the road. In his career, he has gone 17-22 with a 2.39 GAA against the Canadiens. The Panthers have gone 9-16 on the road and they have averaged 2.88 gpg and have allowed 3.84 gpg in those games. Florida enters this game ranked 4th in the league in power play conversions at 26.6% and 16th in penalty kill at 79.8%.
Petry Lifts Habs Over Bruins In Beantown
The Montreal Canadiens are 17 points out of first in the Atlantic Division, but they do currently occupy the 7th spot in the Eastern Conference. Montreal comes in off a 3-2 road win over the Bruins in OT and they have won three of their last four games. The Habs have struggled on offense of late, but their play in the crease has been solid as they have allowed a total of 15 goals over their last eight games. As I said, the offense has struggled as well off late as they have scored a total of 16 goals over their last eight games. That’s a lot of low-scoring hockey games. The Habs had a 2-1 lead late, but the Bruins tied it with 38 seconds left in regulation. Jeff Petry then scored just 15 seconds into the extra session to walk away with the win. It was 10th of the year. Brendan Gallagher (18th) and Paul Byron (10th) also scored in the won.
Paul Byron: «Je suis incroyablement fier de l'équipe. Tout le monde s'est battu ce soir.»
Paul Byron: "I’m incredibly proud of the team. I thought everybody battled hard." pic.twitter.com/cS8ldvrbWr
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) January 15, 2019
Grabbing the win was Carey Price, who stopped 41 of the 43 shots that he faced to improve to 18-17 with a 2.35 GAA on the year. Antti Niemi will get the nod for the Habs in this one and he has gone 7-5 with a 3.85 GAA and a .886 save percentage on the year, including 3-0 with a 3.24 GAA and a .894 save percentage here at home. In his career, he has gone 2-6 with a 2.91 GAA against the Panthers. Montreal has gone 12-11 here at home for the year and they have averaged 3.00 gpg and have allowed 2.91 gpg in those games. The Canadiens check in ranked 31st in power play conversions at 12.5% and 19th in penalty kill at 78.9%.
- 2-5 in their last 7 Tuesday games
- 2-6 in their last 8 games playing on 0 days rest
- The Over is 9-1 in their last 10 vs. a team with a winning record.
- The Over is 6-1 in their last 7 vs. the Atlantic
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Roberto Luongo has struggled on this road this year, but Antti Niemi has struggled for the Habs and Montreal is playing this game on no rest. I feel that will be the key factor in this one, especially since the Habs are just 2-6 in their last eight games when playing on no rest. Look for the Panthers to take advantage of a tired team in this one.
Full-Game Total Pick
This has been a low-scoring series over the year, but I have to go with the Over in this one. Roberto Luongo has a 3.78 GAA on the road, while Niemi has a 3.24 GAA here at home, despite a 3-0 record. All three of his home games have seen at least 7 goals scored. The Over is 5-1-1 in Florida’s last seven in the fourth game of a 4-in-6 days situation and 7-2 in Montreal’s last nine vs. the Eastern Conference.