Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#3 Detroit Red Wings vs.
#4 Montreal Canadiens
Thursday, January 26, 2023 at 7:05pm EST
Bell Centre, Montreal
Written by Valdis Pans

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Two defeats in their past three domestic fixtures take the Montreal Canadiens (8th in Atlantic Division) to a home outing against the Detroit Red Wings (6th in Atlantic), who have triumphed in two of their previous three overall matchups.

Wings Beat San Jose

The Detroit Red Wings (20-18-8) bagged their second victory in the past three outings (2-1-0) after edging out the San Jose Sharks with a 3-2 overtime count at Little Caesars Arena on Tuesday. Adam Erne (6 goals, 14 points this year) and Michael Rasmussen (8 goals, 22 points) gave the Wings 1-0 and 2-1 leads respectively in the second period before the visitors equalized on both occasions in the same frame, only for Andrew Copp (5 goals, 26 points) to snatch the win 25 seconds into the extra session. With that, Detroit improved to a 2-3-1 record in its previous six contests.

Goalie Ville Husso stopped 28 shots on Tuesday and has now gone 16-11-5 for the season with a 3.00 GAA and a .902 save percentage. He has picked up a 1-0-2 previous tally versus Montreal with a 1.61 GAA and a .946 save percentage, while Magnus Hellberg (3-3-1 on the year with a 2.70 GAA and a .897 save percentage) has never faced the Canadiens before. The Red Wings, meanwhile, are scoring the 11th-lowest number of goals per game this season (3.04), while giving up the 12th-highest amount defensively (3.30). They are 20th in power play (20.3%) and 21st in penalty kill (75.8%).

Habs Lose To Boston

A second defeat in the last three contests (1-2-0) came about for the Montreal Canadiens (20-25-3), who went 2-2-0 on their current five-game homestand following a 4-2 setback against the Boston Bruins at Bell Centre on Tuesday. Kirby Dach (10 goals, 31 points this year) found the back of the net twice in his 200th NHL outing, as the Habs opened the scoring during power play midway through the second period and tied it at 2-2 in the third before the B’s tallied two unanswered snipes, including an empty-netter, in the last three minutes of the game. Nevertheless, Montreal is still 5-4-0 in its last nine matchups after losing seven consecutive contests prior (0-6-1).

Goalie Sam Montembeault turned aside 25 shots on Tuesday during his eighth straight start, taking his current performance status to 10-9-2 for the season with a 3.14 GAA and a .910 save percentage. He has registered a 1-0-1 career record versus Detroit with a 2.35 GAA and a .911 save percentage, while Jake Allen (10-16-1 on the year with a 3.52 GAA and a .892 save percentage), who could return from an upper-body injury, is 5-2-3 against the Red Wings historically with a 1.81 GAA and a .937 save percentage. The Canadiens, meanwhile, are 3rd in least goals scored per game in 2022-23 (2.56), 5th in most goals allowed on average (3.65), bottom of the league in power play (15.3%) and 5th worst in penalty kill (73.8%).

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Despite the Canadiens winning five of their last nine outings, question marks still remain over their ability to sustain a continuously solid run of form. The Habs have managed to bank just a single victory in their previous eight contests against opponents from the Atlantic Division, while the team’s last 10 domestic escapades have seen Montreal triumph in just four of them. The Red Wings, on the other hand, will be taking positives from their most recent 2-1-1 overall tally, going 1-0-1 in their very last two road outings. The imminent return of Tyler Bertuzzi, who missed Detroit’s previous two fixtures with a lower-body injury, will also be a major boost for the Wings, who, most importantly, have already snatched six wins in their past nine head-to-head meetings against the Canadiens.

Prediction: Detroit Red Wings (-105)

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The very last four overall encounters between Detroit and Montreal have already delivered no more than five tallies on the scoresheet, averaging just 3.75 snipes per clash. So, betting on another low-scoring contest between the two Atlantic Division foes is definitely not the worst of options! When facing off against opponents from the Eastern Conference, the Red Wings have already cruised below the set goal-mark on six of the previous seven occasions. Four of the most recent six overall outings of the Canadiens, meanwhile, have all delivered just a minimal quantity of strikes, posting an average of just four markers per game.

Prediction: Under 6
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Written By Valdis Pans , "Valdis Pans"

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