- The Vegas Golden Knights and Montreal Canadiens clash Saturday (7pm ET, Jan. 18)
- Montreal has won three of four, after dropping its previous eight games
- Vegas snapped a four-game skid Thursday with a 4-2 win in Ottawa
The Montreal Canadiens’ final test of the first of half of the season comes Saturday night (7:00 pm ET, Jan. 18) against the Vegas Golden Knights at the Bell Centre. Montreal has won three of four, after dropping its previous eight, but is still an underdog on home ice.
Vegas Golden Knights vs Montreal Canadiens Odds
|Vegas Golden Knights||-1.5 (+195)||-125||Over 5.5 (-118)|
|Montreal Canadiens||+1.5 (-225)||+113||Under 5.5 (+107)|
Odds taken Jan. 17th
Vegas snapped its four-game losing streak Thursday, with a 4-2 win over the Senators in Peter DeBoer’s Golden Knights coaching debut. DeBoer took over earlier this week for Gerard Gallant, who was fired despite accumulating a 118-75-20 record. Vegas has failed to live up to expectations this season, and has regressed severely on offense and in net.
Not so Golden After All
The advanced stats suggest the Golden Knights should be scoring a lot more goals than they currently are. They rank first in expected even strength goals, but just 12th in actual 5-on-5 goals. They’ve generated the second most scoring chances in the league, but have the NHL’s eighth worst shooting percentage. If not for a top-eight power play, this team could easily be on the outside of the playoff picture looking in.
? Fleury: I think we need to hear this message loud and clear, turn things around and be better. pic.twitter.com/nW1At2GqwX
— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) January 15, 2020
Things aren’t any rosier between the pipes. Vegas ranks 19th in save percentage, after finishing 15th last season and 11th in 2017-18. Mark-Andre Fleury’s goals against average is the highest it’s been in four seasons, and his save percentage is the lowest of his career since 2009-10.
The Price is Right
While the Golden Knights have been underachieving, Carey Price and the Habs are back to playing up to their potential. The Canadiens’ netminder has posted three straight victories, and stopped 40 shots in a 4-1 win versus the Flyers last time out.
Carey Price’s save percentage, save total and goals against in his last three starts:
— From Failing Hands Podcast (@FFHandsPodcast) January 17, 2020
He’s turned aside 112 of the 114 shots he’s faced during his personal winning streak, and has yet to surrender more than three goals in a game in the month of January.
It should be noted that two of his past three starts were on the road where he’s performed much better this season. Price is 11-6-2 away home, with a 2.71 GAA and a .920 save percentage. At home however, he’s just 8-10-2, with a 2.92 GAA and a .896 save percentage.
He has just one win in his last six starts at the Bell Centre, while the Golden Knights have fared well on enemy ice, posting 11 wins in 20 games.
Hit the Over
These two teams have met five times since Vegas joined the league, with Montreal winning four of those outings. The average amount of goals scored per contest is 7.8, and Saturday’s game projects to be another high scoring affair. Seven of the past eight Golden Knights games have produced a total of at least six goals, and five of those contests had a total of at least seven.
You might think you love Mark Stone goals more than Mark Stone, but you'd have to prove it? pic.twitter.com/ChCdFfHFvs
— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) December 29, 2019
Vegas has a lethal power play and is due for some positive goal regression at even strength, while Carey Price and the Canadiens have been far stingier away from home. The Habs have scored more than two goals just once in their last seven outings, but a matchup versus Fleury and the Golden Knights is the perfect remedy to help them snap out of their offensive funk.
Pick: Over 5.5 (-118)
Let's have fun and keep it civil.