The Habs announced on Friday that center Tomas Plekanec has a lower back injury and will not be joining the team in Ottawa. David Schlemko and Shea Weber will also remain in Montreal to continue rehabbing their respective injuries as well.
Price leading Canadiens to fast start
The Canadiens are coming off of an impressive 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues to improve to 4-1-1 on the season. Maxi Domi opened the scoring with his first goal of the season, while Mike Reilly also scored his first goal of the year and Brendan Gallagher added the game-winning goal with 21 seconds left in the game to help the Habs escape with a win in regulation. Meanwhile, Carey Price stopped 23 of the 25 shots that he faced on the night to send Montreal to their third straight victory. Tomas Tatar leads the team in points with eight, while Gallagher is tops on the team with four goals this season.
Price is expected to be back between the pipes for Montreal at the Canadian Tire Centre on Saturday. He enters with a 2-1-1 overall record to go along with a .912 save percentage and a 2.24 GAA in four starts this year.
The Canadiens are scoring 3.3 goals per game so far this season, which ranks 13th in the NHL, while allowing just 2.5 goals per contest (8th in the NHL). Despite those numbers, they have struggled on special teams, ranking 23rd and 24th in power play percentage and penalty kill percentage through six games this year.
Tkachuk suffers injury in win over Stars
The Senators are fresh off of their second straight win after defeating the Dallas Stars at home 4-1. Craig Anderson shut the door on the Stars, stopping 37 of the 38 shots that he faced on the night, while rookie Brady Tkachuk scored to extend his current point streak to three games. After not tallying a point in his first career NHL game, the 19-year-old rookie has gone on to compile six points over his last three contests, quickly proving why the Senators drafted him with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2018 draft. Tkachuk suffered an injury in the first period against the Stars, but gutted it out, finishing with the game-winning goal in the process. Unfortunately for him and the Senators, that injury turned out to be a torn ligament in his leg and he’s now expected to be sidelined for at least a month.
— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) October 18, 2018
Anderson is scheduled to be manning the crease for the Senators on Saturday night. He comes in with a 3-1-1 overall record to go along with a 3.02 GAA and a .925 save percentage so far this season.
Ottawa is scoring a healthy 4.0 goals per game this season, which ranks 2nd in the NHL. The Senators have limited opposing teams to 3.7 goals per game (25th in the NHL), while killing 78.3 percent of their penalties so far this season (16th in the NHL) .They have converted 27.8 percent of their power play opportunities this year, which ranks 7th in the league.
- Senators are 4-1 in their last 5 vs. a team with a winning % above .600
- Canadiens are 12-28 in their last 40 vs. Eastern Conference.
- Canadiens are 5-22 in their last 27 road games
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Craig Anderson is coming off of his best game of the season and the Senators have been racking up goals in recent games. While they will certainly miss Tkachuk while he’s out, I’m going to buy on the bad news of his injury and roll with the Sens here. The Canadiens are 6-1 in their last seven meetings against the Senators, but most of those wins have come at the Bell Centre. The home team is 5-1 in the last six meetings in this series and I expect that trend to continue on Saturday night. Take Ottawa at home in a battle of Canadian hockey teams on Saturday night.
Prediction: Pick: Ottawa Senators +100
Full-Game Total Pick
Price and Anderson are two of the NHL’s top goaltenders and both come into this game relatively hot, but both of these offenses have been finding the back of the net quite often during the early part of the NHL season. Ottawa has scored three goals or more in every game so far this season and the Canadiens have racked up 14 goals during their current three-game win streak, which has me leaning towards the over in this spot.
Prediction: Over 6