Matching up for the second and final time this year, the San Jose Sharks and the Montreal Canadiens face off at Bell Centre for an East-West showdown. The match will get started at 7:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, January 2 and it can be viewed live on Reseau Des Sports.
San Jose Sharks at Montreal Canadiens Odds
Montreal enters the contest as the narrow favorite with a -115 moneyline. The line for San Jose sits at -105, and the oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at 6 goals (-130 under, +110 over).
San Jose is 20-16 straight up (SU) and has lost 0.6 units for moneyline bettors thus far. Through 36 regular season matches, 23 of its games have gone under the total, while 12 have gone over and just one has pushed. As the road team in 2017-18, the Sharks are 8-8 SU.
San Jose has converted on 22.0 percent of its power play chances this year, a mark that’s good enough for sixth-best in the league. On the other hand, it has the third-strongest penalty kill in the league, and the team’s successfully killed off 85.6 percent of all penalties.
The Sharks, as a collective unit, have been penalized 3.9 times per game overall during the 2017-18 season, and 5.0 per game over its last five road outings. The team has been forced to kill penalties just 8.4 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Sporting a .914 save percentage and 25.7 saves per game, Martin Jones (13-13-4) has been the primary option in goal for San Jose this season. If San Jose chooses to rest him, however, head coach Peter Deboer could roll with Aaron Dell (7-7-1 record, .931 save percentage, 2.06 goals against average).
Joe Thornton and Logan Couture will both spearhead the attack for the visiting Sharks. Thornton has 26 points on seven goals and 19 assists, and has recorded two or more points four times. Couture has 15 goals and 11 assists to his nameand has logged at least one point in 15 games.
On the other bench, Montreal is 16-23 straight up (SU) and has lost 10.9 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 39 regular season outings, 21 of its games have gone under the total, while 16 have gone over and just two have pushed. It’s 9-10 SU at home this year.
The Canadiens have converted on just 19.1 percent of their power play opportunities this year, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 26th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 77.7 percent of all penalties.
Canadiens players have been sent to the penalty box 3.9 times per game in total this season, 3.8 per game over their last five contests total, and 3.8 per game over their last five at home. The team has had to stave off opponent power plays just 7.7 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Carey Price (27.5 saves per game) has been the primary option in goal for the Canadiens. Price has 11 wins, 15 losses, and two OT losses to his name and has registered a poor .907 save percentage and 2.97 goals against average this year.
The home team offense will be led by Phillip Danault (seven goals, 14 assists) and Alex Galchenyuk (nine goals, 12 assists).
San Jose Sharks vs. Montreal Canadiens Free Picks
Predictions: SU Winner – Canadiens, O/U – Under
Seven of Montreal’s last ten games have been decided by two or more goals, and the club is 1-6 overall in those games.
The Canadiens are 5-13 SU in games where they serve more penalty minutes than their opponent while the Sharks are 7-6 SU when they serve more minutes than the opposition.
San Jose is 2-1 in games decided by a shootout this season while Montreal is 1-1 in shootouts.
The total has gone under in each of Montreal’s last five outings.
Montreal has averaged 2.6 goals per game overall this season, but has been averaging 0.8 goals per matchup over its four-game losing streak.
Montreal is ranked 29th this season with 13.5 giveaways per game. That figure has trended lower recently, however, as the team’s averaged 11.1 giveaways over its last 10 games and 10.8 giveaways over its last five.
San Jose is ranked 30th this season with 13.6 giveaways per game. That figure has trended lower, however, as the team’s averaged 10.8 giveaways over its last 10 games and 10.2 giveaways over its last five.
The Canadiens this season have handed the fourth-most hits in the NHL (24.4 per game), but that number has jumped up to 30.6 over their past five games as the home team.