Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#37 N.Y. Rangers 6.5 vs.
#38 Montreal Canadiens -130
Thursday, February 27, 2020 at 7:05pm EST
Bell Centre, Montreal
Written by Chris Kubala

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It’s a battle of Original Six teams on the outside of the Eastern Conference playoff picture in the province of Quebec. The New York Rangers are on the road as they make the trip to face the Montreal Canadiens Thursday night. New York comes in off a 4-3 overtime road victory over the crosstown Islanders Tuesday night in their last game. Montreal was dropped 4-3 in overtime at home by Vancouver in their previous game on Tuesday night. The teams have split the last 10 meetings with the Canadiens earning a 2-1 road win in the most recent matchup on December 6, 2019.

New York Rangers Try to Maintain Charge

New York won their fourth straight and their eighth in the last nine games as they skated to an overtime win over the Islanders on the road Tuesday night. The Rangers went into Wednesday’s action seventh in the Metropolitan Division, seven points behind the Flyers, who held the final guaranteed playoff spot, and 12 back of the Capitals for the division lead. In the wild card race, they were four points behind the Blue Jackets for the second wild-card spot. New York is solid offensively this season as they average 3.32 goals per contest. The Rangers have had defensive zone issues as they allow 3.05 goals per game. New York is very effective with the man advantage as they convert 22.8 percent of their chances on the power play. The Rangers would like to improve in the penalty killing department as they successfully navigate 79.2 percent of their shorthanded situations.

Against the Islanders, it took a little extra time but the Rangers came up with the two points. New York was outshot 15-7 in the opening period and took a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes of play. Artemi Panarin opened the scoring with his 32nd of the year at 17:02 off assists from Ryan Lindgren and Tony DeAngelo. In the second period, the Rangers were outshot 16-13 and saw both teams score once to lead 2-1 after 40 minutes. Greg McKegg scored his fourth of the year off assists from Brendan Lemieux and Adam Fox at 7:48 for a 2-0 lead. The Islanders gave up a goal later in the period to halve their lead. In the final period, the Rangers were outshot 14-7 and outscored 2-1 to send the game to overtime even at three. Brett Howden scored his eighth of the year at 9:34 off assists from Lemieux and Lindgren for a 3-1 lead. New York gave up two unanswered goals, including the equalizer at 19:42 of the period, to force overtime. In the extra session, the Rangers had the lone shot in overtime and it led to the winning goal, Mika Zibanejad scored his 29th of the year 28 seconds into overtime off an assist from Panarin to earn the win. Alexander Georgiev made 42 saves in the win for the Rangers, who were outshot 45-28 in the game.

Montreal Canadiens Look for Bounceback Win

Montreal saw their two-game win streak come to an end as they were dumped by Vancouver in overtime at home. The Canadiens entered Wednesday fifth in the Atlantic Division, seven points behind the Maple Leafs for the final guaranteed playoff spot and 23 back of division-leading Boston. They trailed Columbus by nine points for the second wild card spot. Montreal is pretty average when it comes to scoring as they put up 2.97 goals a night so far this year. The Canadiens are a middle of the road team defensively as they are giving up 3.05 goals per contest this season. Montreal a below average team on the power play by converting 19.2 percent of their chances with the man advantage this season. The Canadiens have struggled when it comes to penalty killing as they successfully get through 78.6 percent of their shorthanded situations on the year.

Against Vancouver, the Canadiens earned a point but couldn’t get the second one with an OT loss. Montreal saw the shots even at 13 in the opening period but skated off with a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes of play. Paul Byron opened the scoring with his third of the year at 5:59 off an assist from Max Domi. Shea Weber made it a 2-0 game with his 15th of the season at 7:23 off assists from Tomas Tatar and Phillip Danault. The Canadiens gave up a goal later in the period. In the second period, Montreal held a 12-4 edge in shots on goal and gave up the lone goal to tie the game at two after 40 minutes. The final period saw the Canadiens with a 15-12 edge in shots with both teams scoring once to force overtime. Jordan Weal scored his seventh of the year at the 50 second mark off an assist from Domi to give Montreal a 3-2 lead. The Canadiens gave up the equalizer on the power play later in the stanza. In the extra session, Montreal was outshot 5-0 and gave up the winning goal to end up with the OT loss. Carey Price made 30 saves for the Canadiens, who held a 40-34 advantage in shots on goal, in the loss.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:


This is going to be tough for Montreal when you consider the momentum that the Rangers have coming into this contest. New York has won four straight and eight of their last nine games coming into this one and they have climbed right into the playoff picture after their slow start to the year. Montreal made some moves to try and acquire draft capital as they seem to be resigned to missing the postseason barring some sudden hot stretch and a tumble by teams in front of them. The Canadiens have struggled to score on a regular basis and it’s going to be tough here to keep the Rangers in check. Give New York the advantage based on their recent momentum.

Prediction: New York Rangers +115

Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:


New York comes into this game with a 17-11-2 home mark on the season. The Rangers own a +5 goal differential (97-92) on the season despite a -167 shot differential (1,061-894) in those contests. That creates an average of 6.30 goals per game when New York is the visiting team this season. Montreal is 13-15-6 on home ice this season. The Canadiens own a -12 goal differential (105-93) while owning a +190 shot differential (1,199-1,009) this season. That's an average of 5.82 goals per game when Montreal is the home team this season. This one ends up falling short of the mark as the Rangers shut down a weak Montreal attack.

Prediction: Under 6.5

Half-Time Side Pick

Insiders Status:


The Rangers have played well on the road of late. New York has held the upper hand in 13 of their 30 road games after the opening period of play this season. The Rangers have been even in six contests and trailed after one period in 11 road contests. Montreal has held the upper hand in 17 of their 34 home games after the first period this season. The Canadiens have been even eight times and have trailed in nine contests after one period at home. This one ends up going toward the Rangers given their recent hot stretch on the road.

Prediction: 1st Period New York Rangers

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.