Although the Panthers enter this match-up mired in a bit of a slump, they remain one of the league’s best offensive teams. They rank 7th in goals per game at 3.31 (3.41 at home), #7 in shots per game at 32.6, #6 in shooting percentage and have the 8th-most power play goals to go along with the NHL’s 10th ranked power play percentage. As potent as they are offensively, they leave much to be desired defensively. They give up the 3rd-most goals per game at 3.31 (even more at home, 3.35), rank 5th in shots against per game at 32.5, 6th in expected goals against and own the NHL’s 3rd-worst save percentage, 90.93%.
The Montreal Canadiens comes into this game as the NHL’s 5th-best scoring team on the road at 3.21 per contest while ranking 25th in goals for at home, 2.75. The Canadiens rank second in shots per game at 34.1 and are first in the league in Corsi for and Fenwick for. They also rank second in xGF (expected goals for) and high danger chances for – Florida ranks 24th in high danger Corsi against.
As for special teams, Montreal owns the 10th-most power play goals on the road and the league’s 2nd-best road power play percentage at 25.6%. Florida has scored 44 power play goals, which is the 8th-most in the league and their 21.3% PP percentage ranks 10th. These numbers correlate well with the Canadiens, as they have allowed 44 power play goals against, 9th most, killing off just 78.4% of 4v5 situations – 77.9% on the road – which ranks 21st.
Chris Driedger will start between the pipes for the Florida Panthers and while he has had a great start to his season – 2.29 GAA and .932% SV% – he has given up exactly 4 goals in each of his last three home starts. Charlie Lindgren draws the start for Montreal, very small sample size (5 games) but his .884% SV% and 3.37 GAA would rank last to only Jimmy Howard.
Expect Florida to blitz Montreal for 60 minutes and the Canadiens, who are never out of a game, will fight to keep the score close. We are recommending a play on the Montreal Canadiens and Florida Panthers over 6 -120.
This match-up has seen the over in three of four, combining for an average of 9.3 goals per game.
Brendan Gallagher will be on the ice tonight after missing Thursday’s game at Tampa Bay with an illness; Tomas Tatar is out with an upper body injury.
The Montreal Canadiens have played to the over in four of their last five and seven of nine overall.