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The Montreal Canadiens face the Tampa Bay Lightning with both teams heading in opposite directions this season. The Canadiens have a 27-36-6 record and with only two wins in their last 10 games have fallen to last place in the Atlantic Division. The Lightning have a 41-22-6 record and with back-to-back wins are in third place in the Atlantic Division. Both teams look to improve in the division and the upcoming game looks to be a good one.
Canadiens defense has been awful this yearThe Canadiens are having a season to forget with their offense struggling and scoring only 2.77 goals per game. Nick Suzuki, Kirby Dach, and Josh Anderson have scored 54 goals and 63 assists to lead the top two lines but the rest of the offense has struggled. Only four active skaters have 10 goals or more and opponents can eliminate the hapless offense as a result.
The offense has struggled but the defense is one of the worst in the league, allowing 3.70 goals per game including 21 goals in the last three games. Johnathan Kovacevic and Mike Matheson have combined for 4.4 defensive point shares but the rest of the unit has struggled, allowing opponents to find open shots on the net at will. In addition, goaltender Jake Allen has struggled with a .892 save percentage and a 3.56 goals-against average on 1281 shots with -15.9 goals saved above average.
Lightning have been carried by their offenseThe Lightning are having a great season with their offense stepping up and scoring 3.45 goals per game with eight goals in the last two games. Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, and Brayden Point have scored 99 goals and 147 assists to lead the top two lines but the entire offense has been great. Brandon Hagel, Nick Paul, and Alex Killorn have combined for 62 goals and 77 assists while defensemen Victor Hedman and Mikhail Sergachev have added 13 goals and 81 assists from the point to put the offense over the top.
The offense has been great but the defense has struggled, allowing 3.01 goals per game. Hedman and Sergachev have combined for 8.0 defensive point shares but the rest of the unit has struggled, allowing opponents to carry the puck into the offensive zone and find open shots on the net. The bright spot has been the play of goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy who has a .914 save percentage and a 2.67 goals-against average on 1622 shots with 15.6 goals saved above average.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The Canadiens are looking to pull off the upset but the Lightning are having a great season and look to control this game from the first period. The Lightning, who average 3.45 goals per game, should pile on the goals against the Canadiens, who allow 3.70 goals per game, with Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, and the rest of the forward unit controlling the puck in the offensive zone and creating open shots with great puck movement. The Lightning should limit the Canadiens' offense, which averages only 2.77 goals per game, with Victor Hedman, Mikhail Sergachev, and the rest of the defensive unit creating turnovers in the defensive zone and limiting shots on the net, allowing goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy to make plenty of big saves. The Lightning should win the game and cover the spread in a dominant win to extend their winning streak to three games.
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Full-Game Total Pick
Both teams have struggled defensively and the upcoming game should reflect that with both forward units finding the back of the net throughout the game. The Canadiens should constantly find the back of the net against the Lighting defense, which allows 3.01 goals per game, with Nick Suzuki, Kirby Dach, and the rest of the forward unit carrying the puck into the offensive zone and creating open shots with great puck movement. The Lightning, who have scored eight goals in the last two games, should run up the score against the Canadiens, who allow 21 goals in the last three games, with Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, Brayden Point, and the rest of the forward unit crashing the net on the rush and creating open shots with effective puck movement while defensemen Victor Hedman and Mikhail Sergachev pick apart the Canadiens defense from the point. The Over should cover in a high-scoring game with both offenses stepping up.
Take the Over on 6.5 goals.