NHL Hockey Betting: Montreal Canadiens at Philadelphia Flyers

NHL Hockey Betting:  Montreal Canadiens at Philadelphia Flyers&h=235&w=320&zc=1

Have the Montreal Canadiens ‘turned a corner’? Did the 5-1 rout of the Boston Bruins in the Winter Classic signal the end of their recent slump? Those are very compelling questions and the answer will start to emerge tonight as the Habs head to Philadelphia to take on the ‘up again and down again’ Flyers. For Montreal, it’s been rough going since Carey Price was sidelined with a knee injury. Montreal has lost 9 of their last 12 games and went through a stretch losing six straight and 8 of 9. But now the good news–Brendan Gallagher has returned to the lineup and his top line with Max Pacioretty and Tomas Plekanec reunited. The line struck twice in the win over Boston and perhaps even more significant was the contributions that Montreal received from their third and fourth line including a pair of goals from Paul Byron.

Philadelphia has been a very tough team to figure this season. They’ve played well in stretches but have lost 3 straight and are 4-4-2 in their last ten games. Looking at the Flyers’ stats its hard to see how they’re anything but a doormat. They’re not anything great defensively, ranking #19 in goals against allowing 2.68 per game. That’s a huge problem since they have been pitiful on offense–the only team that scores fewer goals per game than the Flyers are the Anaheim Ducks. Philadelphia scores 2.11 per game and a half goal a game differential isn’t going to get it done. Special teams aren’t a strength either–they’re #27 in power play percentage and #26 in penalty kill percentage.

Both teams are in tough emotional situations–the Habs in a potential ‘Winter Classic letdown’ and the Flyers playing their first game at home after three road games in California. They’ve had three days of rest but Philadelphia is a team that hasn’t benefited from time off. The Flyers are 3-7 playing with 2+ days of rest. Success has begat success for this Canadiens team this year winning 12 of 16 following a win by 2 or more goals. Backup Ben Scrivens gets the start but he should have an easy time against the sputtering Flyers’ offense. Philadelphia just 8-5-4 at home this season.


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