Montreal Canadiens vs Pittsburgh Penguins Betting Preview
The NHL odds have Pittsburgh installed as a -177 favorite for Monday despite the Canadiens winning Game 1 by a score of 3-2 in overtime. Montreal is a +147 underdog, while the Over/Under has been set at 5.5 with the Under juiced at -125.
The Penguins finished the regular season with a 40-23-6 record, while the Habs were the final team to make the Eastern Conference play-ins following a campaign where they went 31-31-9.
Price, the seven-time All-Star and 2015 Hart and Vezina Trophy winner, has carried the Habs for the last decade. He had a solid regular season for Montreal, posting a 2.79 GAA, and he's coming off a fantastic performance in Game 1 turning away 39 of 41 shots.
The Penguins will start Matt Murray again in Game 2 after a strong game on Saturday where he saved 32 of 35 shots. Murray had a below-average regular season but is playoff-tested, having won 22 games across two Stanley Cup runs in 2016 and 2017.
To be announced
Betting Trend to know
The Under is 5-0 in the last five games in the head-to-head between Pittsburgh and Montreal. Find more NHL betting trends for Canadiens vs. Penguins.
Evgeni Malkin was all over the ice for Pittsburgh in Game 1, creating plenty of scoring chances and ending up with eight shots on goal. Although he didn't pick up a point on Saturday, he had 49 assists in 55 games during the regular season and also has nine assists in his previous nine regular season contests against the Habs. Bank on Malkin getting an assist on Monday.
PREDICTION: Evgeni Malkin Over 0.5 assists (-130)
The Under has cashed in each of the last five meetings between these sides, but it's worth pointing out that in four of those games exactly five goals were scored and the other contest saw six goals, so it's not like these have been 1-0 nail-biters.
Both teams certainly had their chances in Game 1 and it took some great goaltending - and some luck - to keep the score as low as it was. The Pens ended up with 41 shots, including an incredible 20 high-danger chances and if they keep putting the puck on the net, good things are bound to happen.
On the other side, the Habs certainly had scoring opportunities of their own they didn't capitalize on, and considering how shaky Murray has looked at times this year, I like the Over at plus money.
PREDICTION: Over 5.5 (+104)
The Habs had a hard-fought and well-deserved win in Game 1 but there were certainly long stretches where Pittsburgh was the better team (definitely not in OT though). The Pens were let down by their powerplay which went just 1-7 and couldn't capitalize on a 5v3 situation, and defensive lapses (*cough, cough Jack Johnson).
I expect Pittsburgh to win this game and even the series, but I'm wary of the -175 price on them to do so. It won't be easy for Pittsburgh to beat Montreal by more than a goal, especially if Carey Price plays like he did on the weekend, but they certainly have the firepower with Malkin, Sidney Crosby and company to do just that. At +150 taking the Pens on the puckline looks like the best value play.
PREDICTION: Puckline Pittsburgh -1.5 (+150)
Canadiens vs Penguins Betting Card for August 3
- Evgeni Malkin Over 0.5 assists (-130)
- Over 5.5 (+104)
- Puckline Pittsburgh -1.5 (+150)
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