National Hockey League action on Saturday evening and the Metro Division will mix it up with the Atlantic Division as the Philadelphia Flyers tangle with the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec. The Flyers enter this game off a 4-3 home win over the Bruins, while the Habs are off a 4-1 road win over the Blue Jackets.
Flyers Hand Bruins Tough Loss
The Boston Bruins will be in the postseason this year. The Flyers will not. Still, it was the Flyers who topped the Bruins on Wednesday evening by a score of 4-3. It was a tough loss for the Bruins, especially since they led 2-0 just 9:12 into the game. The Flyers were able to fight back from that to win their 3rd game out of their last four. Scoring in the win was Oskar Lindblom, which was his 5th of the year and Sean Couturier, who notched a hat trick and now has 19 goals on the year. The Flyers have had their issues on offense this year, but they have now scored 11 goals over their last two games after notching 14 total goals over their previous nine games.
A new career-high for Carter Hart and Sean Couturier's first-ever regular season hat trick rallied Philly past the Bruins!
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) January 17, 2019
Grabbing the win against the Bruins was Carter Hart, who stopped 39 of the 42 shots that he faced to improve to 5-6 with a 2.72 GAA and a .915 save percentage in this his first year in the league, while out on the road, he has gone 0-3 with a 3.46 GAA and a .889 save percentage. This will be his first meeting with the Canadiens. Philadelphia has gone 8-16 on the road for the year and they have averaged 2.79 gpg and have allowed 3.83 gpg in those games. The Flyers check in ranked 30th in power play conversions at 13.5% and 28th in penalty kill at 76.2%.
Habs Take Down Blue Jackets On The Road
The Montreal Canadiens have been playing well of late as they come in having won four games in a row and 10 of their last 14. Montreal is currently in 4th place in the Atlantic Division and while they are 15 points out of first, they are also in 7th place in the Eastern Conference playoff standings and they have a five-point lead over the floundering Sabres, who are in the 9th spot. The Habs enter this game off a solid 4-1 road win over the Columbus Blue Jackets and they have now outscored their last four opponents by a count of 15-4. Scoring in the win was Tomas Tatar, who scored twice and now has 16 goals on the year and Joel Armia, who also scored twice and now has six on the year.
ICYMI: The Canadiens extended their win streak on Friday night with a win over the Blue Jackets in Columbus.
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) January 19, 2019
Getting the nod in this one will be Antti Niemi, who has gone 8-5 with a 3.63 GAA and a .897 save percentage on the year, including 4-0 with a 2.70 GAA and a .925 save percentage here at home. In his career, he has gone 5-1 with a 1.40 GAA against the Flyers. The Canadiens have gone 13-11 here at home and they have averaged 3.08 gpg and have allowed 2.83 gpg in those games. Montreal enters this game ranked 31st in the league in power play conversions at 12.9% and 19th in penalty kill at 79.2%.
- 6-1 in their last 7 in the fourth game of a 4-in-6 situation
- 4-1 in their last 5 after allowing 2 goals or less in their previous game
- 3-8 in their last 11 vs. a team with a winning record.
- 4-11 in their last 15 games playing on 2 days rest
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I will be siding with the Habs in this one. Yes, they are playing this game on no rest, but they have been on a roll of late and the Flyers have lost 11 of their last 12 games on the road. We also note that the Flyers are 1-6 in their last six trips to the Bell Centre and the home team has gone 22-5 the last 27 games in this series. Lastly, Antti Niemi is 5-1 with a 1.40 GAA in his career, against the Flyers. Montreal shakes off the tired legs to take down a bad Philadelphia squad.
Full-Game Total Pick
The Flyers come in having scored 11 goals in their last two games, but Niemi has a decent 2.70 GAA in his home games and he has a 1.40 GAA in his career against the Flyers. I will look for the Philly offense to go back to struggling. The Habs offense will be playing on some tired legs, so don’t expect a ton of goals from them. The Under is 4-1 in Philadelphia’s last five road games and 7-0 in Montreal’s last seven after allowing two goals or less in their previous game.
Prediction: Under 6