Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#65 Los Angeles Kings 6.5 vs.
#66 Montreal Canadiens -200
Saturday, November 9, 2019 at 7:05pm EST
Bell Centre, Montreal
Written by Nick Raffoul

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The Los Angeles Kings will head on the road to the Bell Centre on Saturday evening as they complete their Eastern Conference road trip through Canada with a matchup versus the Montreal Canadiens.

Following a slow start to the season, Montreal has bounced back to go 4-1-1 in their last six games. The Canadiens enter the weekend with 19 points in 16 games, which ties them for fourth place in the Atlantic Division standings and sixth overall in the Eastern Conference. Meanwhile, the Kings have lost six of their last seven games and have compiled a Western Conference-low 11 points in 16 games. Can the Canadiens continue their recent run of success at home versus Los Angeles on Saturday night?

Kings likely to make Toffoli available

The Kings notched a point but dropped their second straight game on Thursday night, losing on the road 3-2 in overtime to the Ottawa Senators. Tyler Toffoli sent the game into overtime with a game-tying goal with just eight seconds remaining in regulation and Dustin Brown also scored for the Kings, who dropped to 5-10-1 on the season. Jack Campbell stopped 30 of the 33 shots sent his way, but it wasn’t enough for the Kings, who are now 1-5-1 over their last seven contests.

Speaking of Toffoli, TSN’s Pierre LeBrun recently reported that the young forward is no longer in the Kings’ long-term plans. Toffoli is just 27-years-old, but the Kings appear headed for an all-out rebuild and he is among several players that could be made available at the February 24 trade deadline. As a former 30-goal scorer, he could attract some attention from a team desperate for a potential top-six or top-nine forward.

Jonathan Quick is expected to tend to the twine for the Kings in Montreal on Saturday. The veteran is just 2-7-0 in nine starts with a disappointing 4.40 GAA and .859 save percentage. After showing signs of life with back-to-back wins, Quick has since lost four straight starts while posting a .872 save percentage during that span. The 33-year-old lost his only start versus Montreal last season after allowing three goals on 24 shots.

Price helps Canadiens earn a point vs. Flyers

Montreal lost for the second time in three games on Thursday night, falling short 32 in overtime versus the Philadelphia Flyers. Carey Price singlehandedly kept the Canadiens in the game, making 40 stops to help the team salvage a point despite being outshot 43 to 24 on the night. There were some bright spots though. Ben Chiarot and Shea Weber each scored a goal and Montreal managed to kill off all six of the Flyers’ power-play opportunities in the loss.

Special teams remain a major problem for the Canadiens, who were expected to contend for a postseason spot this year. If they are going to do that, Montreal will surely have to find a way to improve a penalty-killing unit that has fended off just 72.5 percent of their total penalties for the season, which ranks 28th in the NHL. Last year, it was the power play that ultimately doomed Montreal, but they’ve made strides in that department, converting on 20.0 percent of their opportunities with the man advantage (15th in the NHL) so far this season.

Price will be back between the pipes for the Canadiens versus the Kings on Saturday. The 32-year-old is 7-4-2 with a 2.77 GAA and .912 save percentage in 13 starts. Price made two starts against the Kings last season, going 1-1-0 despite posting a 2.00 GAA and .929 save percentage in those matchups.

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Aside from his two wins, Quick has really struggled this season and he comes in having lost four straight starts. Meanwhile, Price has been his reliable self, allowing three goals or less in nine of his last 11 starts. Montreal has struggled on the penalty kill but they won’t have to worry too much about the Kings, who have capitalized on only 10 percent of their power-play opportunities for the season. The Canadiens have notched points in five of their last six games, winning four of six during that span. Take Montreal on the puck line at home in this matchup on Saturday evening. 

Prediction: Montreal Canadiens -1.5

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Quick has allowed four goals or more in three of his last four starts and he sports a 4.77 GAA and .833 save percentage on the road this season. Meanwhile, Price has allowed at least three goals in nine of his 13 starts and he’s been slightly worse at home, where he sports a .894 save percentage in seven games. Montreal ranks sixth in the league in goals per game and they’ve struggled on the penalty kill. Take this game to go over the projected total at the Bell Centre on Saturday night. 

Prediction: Over 6.5
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Written By Nick Raffoul

Shortly after graduating with an Honors in Business Administration, Nick turned his attention from traditional stocks and bonds to investing in the performance of sports teams. And has now joined our team here at Winners & Whiners. Nick uses a combination of advanced stats and historical data to create sports investment models to identify value and generate consistent profits. Let Nick win for you.