NHL Hockey Betting: Ottawa Senators at Montreal Canadiens

NHL Hockey Betting:  Ottawa Senators at Montreal Canadiens&h=235&w=320&zc=1

The Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens will contest Round 2…er…Game 2 of their best of seven series at the Bell Centre on Friday night. There’s every reason to think it’ll be a volatile affair after a wild game one that a bit of everything including a postgame brawl. The Habs won Game 1 by a final score of 4-3 but were outplayed by the Senators for long stretches during the first two periods. The series will head to Ottawa for Games 3 and 4.

Once again, the focus will be on the goaltenders. Montreal has the best goalie in hockey in Carey Price. Price will likely win the Vezina Trophy (best goalie) and is a strong candidate for the Hart Trophy (MVP). He’s as good as it gets but the problem is that the Habs don’t always give him a lot of help. Montreal allowed 30+ shots per game during the regular season and started the postseason allowing 33. The bigger problem is the offense, at least statistically. Montreal is the only team in the playoffs with a negative goal differential and that’s not good. Considering that they finished #1 in goals against per game it’s even uglier.

In the Ottawa net it’ll be ‘The Hamburglar’. The Senators’ season was swirling down the toilet when they brought rookie goaltender Andrew Hammond up from the AHL. All he did once he got the starting job is go 20-1-2 to finish the regular season as the team went 20-3-3 down the stretch to earn an improbable playoff berth. He looked a little shaky in his first career playoff start but the Senators didn’t give him a lot of defensive help either allowing 39 shots on net.

A couple of injured stars are listed as a ‘game time decision’ for Game 2. The Habs are hoping to get Max Pacioretty back in the lineup as he recovers from a concussion. Pacioretty is the team’s leading goal scorer and led the league in +/-. Given the physical tone of Game One, however, Montreal may be hesitant to bring him back here. Then again, it’s not going to get any easier as the playoffs progress. Ottawa is hoping Mark Stone can return after a microfracture suffered from P.K. Subban’s game misconduct slash.


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