NHL Betting Preview: Depleted Canadiens Huge Underdogs Vs. Hurricanes Despite Recent Win Streak

The Montreal Canadiens will try to extend their winning streak to four games when they visit the surging Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night at PNC Arena.

Montreal enters the contest winners of three straight games after a 4-0 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Valentine’s Day, while Carolina has won eight of its last nine contests following a 3-2 win over the Washington Capitals on Tuesday.

Carolina is heavily favoured on the moneyline (around -400 to -450 depending on the online sportsbook). You can grab Montreal on the puckline of 2.5 goals for around -130. The total for the contest is set at six goals.

Previous matchups

Surprisingly, these two NHL Eastern Conference foes have yet to face off against each other this season. Thursday will mark the first of three contests between the teams. They’ll also meet again on Mar. 17 and April 1. Both of those games will be in Montreal.

About the Canadiens (23-27-4, 29-25 ATS, 22-28 o/u)

Montreal isn’t helping its cause in the Connor Bedard sweepstakes after posting recent wins over the New York Islanders, Edmonton Oilers, and the Blackhawks. The team is now 5-4-1 over its last 10 games despite missing several key players, most notably Cole Caufield (shoulder), Sean Monahan (lower body), Juraj Slafkovsky (lower body), and Brendan Gallagher (lower body), due to long-term injuries.

With only a few weeks until the trade deadline, Montreal sits 26th in the NHL standings entering the contest, putting them in a less than ideal situation that sees them far from playoff contention, but also playing well enough to hurt its odds of landing the potential No. 1 pick (likely Bedard) in this summer’s draft.

Thursday will mark the first contest of a four-game road trip for the Habs that will also have them stopping in Toronto, New Jersey, and Philadelphia over the next eight days. Montreal is 9-13-3 on the road.

Player to watch: Rafael Harvey-Pinard

Harvey-Pinard has six goals and two assists in 10 games and he’s earned the right to play on the team’s top line with Nick Suzuki and Josh Anderson with all of the injuries on the roster. He was taken in the seventh round of the 2019 draft by the Habs and is making the most of his current spike in ice time.

About the Hurricanes (35-10-8, 22-31 ATS, 25-27 o/u)

Thursday will mark the start of a five-game homestand for the Hurricanes, who lead the Metropolitan Division with 78 points. They boast a 17-6-2 home record and will also welcome Washington, St, Louis, Ottawa, and Anaheim on this homestand. Only one of Carolina’s next five opponents (Washington) is currently in a playoff spot, so the Hurricanes have a great opportunity to rack up some points and increase their lead in the division over the next couple of weeks.

The Hurricanes rank in the top 10 in several defensive categories this year, including goals allowed (7th), shots on goal allowed (1st), and penalty kill % (7th). They’re also among the league leaders in faceoff percentage (53% – 4th in the NHL).

Player to watch: Brent Burns has five goals and four assists over his last nine games while averaging over 22 minutes of ice time over that span. The veteran defenceman has 11 goals and 27 assists in 53 games for Carolina this season.

Probable goaltenders

Montreal: Sam Montembeault (11-10-2, 3.17 GAA, .909 SV%) – confirmed.

Carolina: Antti Raanta (13-2-3, 2.46 GAA, .902 SV%) – confirmed.

  • Montreal is winless in its last eight games in Carolina.
  • The Canadiens are 5-1 in their last six games against opponents with a winning record.
  • The over is 5-1 in Carolina’s last six home games.
  • The under is 4-1 in the past five meetings between the teams.

Wagers to consider

  • Nick Suzuki over 2.5 shots on goal: +120 (bet365). Suzuki has put at least three shots on net in each of his last four contests for the depleted Canadiens, who are relying heavily on the youngster for offence right now.
  • Jonathan Drouin over 0.5 assists: +150 (bet365). Drouin has five assists in his last two contests, including a trio of helpers in Tuesday’s win over the Blackhawks. He’s also getting some time on the team’s second power play unit, which should give him additional opportunities to set up his teammates.

Nick Suzuki

Over 2.5 shots on goal


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