Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#41 Montreal Canadiens 6 vs.
#42 Pittsburgh Penguins -170
Tuesday, December 10, 2019 at 7:05pm EST
PPG PAINTS Arena, Pittsburgh
Written by Chris Kubala

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It’s a battle of Eastern Conference teams on the ice in the Steel City. The Montreal Canadiens are on the road as they travel to face the Pittsburgh Penguins Tuesday night. Montreal comes in off a 2-1 win on the road over the Rangers Friday night in their previous contest. Pittsburgh dropped Detroit 5-3 on the road in their last contest Saturday night. The Penguins have won six of the last seven meetings between the teams, including a 5-1 road victory in the most recent matchup on March 2, 2019.

Montreal Canadiens Try for Back to Back Wins

Montreal won for just the second time in their last 12 games as they pulled out a road win late over the Rangers in their last contest. The Canadiens went into Monday night tied for fourth place in the Atlantic Division, two points behind the Sabres for the final guaranteed playoff spot and 14 points behind division-leading Boston. Montreal is tied for 11th in the league in scoring as they put up 3.17 goals a night so far this year. The Canadiens are 28th in the league by giving up 3.37 goals per contest this season. Montreal is 16th in the league on the power play by converting 19 percent of their chances with the man advantage this season. The Canadiens are only 28th in the league in penalty killing as they successfully get through 75.6 percent of their shorthanded situations on the year.

In what was a low-scoring affair, the Canadiens needed a goal in the final 90 seconds to earn the win over the Rangers. The first period saw Montreal with an 11-8 edge in shots and took a 1-0 advantage to the dressing room after 20 minutes. Brendan Gallagher scored his 13th goal of the year at 10:37 off assists from Phillip Danault and Tomas Tatar to open the scoring. In the second period, the Canadiens were outshot 14-11 and gave up the only goal to leave the game tied 1-1 after 40 minutes of play. The third period saw Montreal with an 11-8 edge in shots and the lone goal of the period to earn the victory. Nate Thompson tallied his second of the year at 18:53 off assists from Nick Cousins and Nick Suzuki to break the tie and give Montreal the win. Carey Price made 29 saves for the Canadiens, who held a 33-30 edge in shots in the game.

Pittsburgh Penguins Seek Fourth Straight Victory

Pittsburgh allowed the opposition to score after back to back shutouts but picked up their third win of the season by downing the Red Wings Saturday night. The Penguins headed into Monday fourth in the Metropolitan Division, one point behind the Flyers for the final guaranteed playoff spot and 13 back of division-leading Washington. Pittsburgh is 6th in the league in goals for as they average 3.40 goals per game on the year. The Penguins are tied for 7th in the league in goals against as they allow 2.70 goals per contest. Pittsburgh is 23rd in the league in power play success this season as they have converted 16.1 percent of their chances with the man advantage on the year. The Penguins are 13th in penalty killing as they are successful in 81.9 percent of their shorthanded situations. They have five shorthanded goals on the year.

In their last game, the Penguins got their offense going to make up for giving up a few goals to take down Detroit. The first period saw Pittsburgh with a 12-7 edge in shots and a 2-0 advantage on the scoreboard after 20 minutes. Jake Guentzel opened the scoring with his 16th of the year at 5:37 off assists from Kris Letang and Evgeni Malkin. Chad Ruhwedel doubled the Penguins’ lead with his first of the year at 17:24 off assists from Malkin and Guentzel. The Penguins were outshot 13-9 in the second period with both teams scoring once to hold a 3-1 lead after 40 minutes. After Detroit made it a 2-1 game, Malkin scored his eighth of the year at 10:42 off assists from Guentzel and Ruhwedel to reestablish their two-goal lead. The final period saw the Penguins outshot 8-7 with both teams scoring twice. Dominik Kahun gave Pittsburgh a 4-1 lead with his eighth of the year off assists from John Marino and Marcus Pettersson at 1:38 of the period. Detroit scored twice to make it a 4-3 game before Marino iced the game with his third of the year, on the power play, at 19:51 into an empty net. Letang and Brandon Tanev drew the assists on the goal. Matt Murray made 25 saves for the Penguins in the win. Both teams finished with 28 shots on goal in the contest.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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Montreal, despite having the win Friday against the Rangers, are still in a tailspin with just two wins in their last 12 games. The Canadiens have to prove that they can play more consistently than what we’ve seen in the first third of the season. Pittsburgh has won three straight games coming into this contest and Tristan Jarry is starting to push his way into more playing time after back to back shutouts last week. The Penguins are good at home and they have momentum on their side. Pittsburgh gets the advantage here to make it four straight wins.

Prediction: Pittsburgh Penguins -165

Full-Game Total Pick

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Montreal comes into this game 6-4-3 on the road this season. The Canadiens are even in goal differential on the road (42-42) while being outshot by 32 (455-423) in those contests this season. Montreal has seen an average of 6.46 goals per game on the road this season. Pittsburgh owns a 12-3-2 home mark this season. The Penguins come into this contest with a +21 goal differential (58-37) and a +78 shot differential (597-519) on the year at home. That's an average of 5.59 goals per game on the year this season. Will we see offensive fireworks in this one?

The over is 5-1 in the Penguins' last six games against Eastern Conference teams. In addition, the teams have gone over the total in four of the last five meetings in Pittsburgh and four of their last six meetings overall. Look for the Penguins to click offensively and nudge this one over the number.

Prediction: Over 6

Half-Time Side Pick

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Montreal has held the lead just four times in their 13 road games after the first period this season. The Canadiens have been tied three times and trailed six times after 20 minutes of play. Pittsburgh has been solid at home this season. The Penguins have held the lead six times at home after the first period this season and have been tied in nine other games. That means Pittsburgh has trailed just twice after 20 minutes of action at home this season. Give the Penguins the advantage in this one.

Prediction: 1st Period Pittsburgh Penguins

Half-Time Total Bet

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Montreal enters this game with a -2 goal differential (11-9) and a -15 shot differential (162-147) in the opening period of games on the road this season. The Canadiens have seen 20 first period goals on the road this season. That gives Montreal an average of 1.54 goals per game in the first period of their contests on the road. Pittsburgh owns a +9 goal differential (15-6) in the first 20 minutes at home this season and a +58 shot differential (212-154) so far. That makes 21 first period goals at the PPG Paints Arena this season, or an average of 1.24 goals per game in the opening 20 minutes. This one ends up under the number after one period.

Prediction: 1st Period Under
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.