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Montreal Canadiens at Edmonton Oilers Betting Preview

Two teams north of the border are set to battle it out in Alberta, as the Montreal Canadiens (19-14-9) take on the Edmonton Oilers (26-15-2). The Canadiens have dropped five of their past seven games, all in regulation, while the Oilers have won four of their last six.

Through five meetings this season, the Habs have claimed four of them, with their latest victory coming in overtime Monday two weeks ago. However, Edmonton is the favorite heading into Monday, listed at -130, while Montreal is a +110 underdog on the road.

By the Numbers

Despite averaging fewer shots than their opponent, the Oilers have the advantage in several key offensive statistics. Edmonton is just inside the top-10 with 3.19 goals and the third-ranked power play at 27 percent. While Montreal wins the shot battle 32.2 to 29.6, they also sit 13th with 2.95 goals and own a 19.1 percent power play rate that sits 21st in the NHL.

As for defense, the Canadiens have a slight 2.76 to 2.79 advantage when it comes to goals allowed, as well as a three-shot advantage for shots on goal allowed. However, the Oilers own the slightly better penalty kill, shooting down 79.5 percent of other teams’ power plays compared to Montreals’ 77.2 percent rate.

Who to Watch

A somewhat unheralded offseason move has turned into a key cog for Montreal’s playoff hopes. Right-winger Tyler Toffoli leads the team with 21 goals and 32 points, recently scoring two goals against the Flames last week. It was his first time scoring in six games, so it’s important for the Habs that he can finish the season strong.

Just behind Toffoli is defenseman Jeff Petry, who, after breaking out a season ago, is up to 11 goals and 19 assists. However, he, too, has been quiet as of late, registering just one assist over the last five games.

Others to watch include young center Nick Suzuki, who, after a two-assist night against the Flames, is tied with veteran left-winger Tomas Tatar for 27 total points. There’s also right-winger Josh Anderson, whose 15 goals are second to only Toffoli, as well as left-winger Jonathan Drouin, who boasts a team-high 21 assists.

As for the Oilers, their two stars are putting up gaudy numbers once again. Center Connor McDavid leads the team with 23 goals as well as 48 assists, giving him a whopping 71 points in 43 games. Recently, McDavid has just one goal but six assists over his last four games.

His linemate, left-wing Leon Draisaitl, has been nearly as good. The reigning MVP has 22 goals and 41 assists, good for 63 points, but also has a team-leading +24 plus-minus. Draisaitl’s hat trick a couple of weeks ago was the last time he found the back of the net, as the German has just two helpers in the last three games.

Besides those two free-agent acquisitions, Tyson Barrie has more than delivered, with the defenseman registering a goal and four assists in the last four games to give him 31 assists and 37 points on the year. Right-wingers Jesse Puljujarvi and Alex Chiasson have also stepped up as of late. Puljujarvi is now one of five players on the team with double-digit goals after netting a pair in the last week, while the veteran Chiasson has scored five of his seven goals on the power play, the latest of which coming on Saturday.


After missing six games due to injury, Montreal welcomed back Carey Price on Saturday. Price should start again Monday, as the former Vezina winner is 12-7-5 on the year with a 2.67 GAA and .900 save percentage.

Stuck in a timeshare for much of the season, veteran Mike Smith has started five of Edmonton’s last six games and should start again Monday. Smith carries an impressive 15-4-2 record with a 2.36 GAA and .922 save percentage.

Betting Pick

Despite the Canadiens winning four of five previous matchups, I like the Oilers in this one. Edmonton’s top scorers are playing a little better heading into the game, and so is Smith in net. Montreal has also struggled away from home ice, dropping 11 of their 20 road games this season. Bet on McDavid, Draisaitl, and the rest of Edmonton to get the win.

Pick: Oilers -130

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