Nikita Kucherov, Victor Hedman, and the Tampa Bay Lightning will do battle against Tomas Tatar, Brendan Gallagher, and the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre for an Atlantic Division showdown. Fox Sports Sun will showcase the matchup, and the action gets underway at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, January 2.
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montreal Canadiens Odds
Playing the role of underdogs will be the Lightning (-135), while the Canadiens are showing moneyline odds of +115 and oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at 7 goals (-115 for the over, -105 for the under).
Tampa Bay is 21-17 straight up (SU) and has lost 6.5 units for moneyline bettors thus far. 23 of its games have gone over the total, while 14 have gone under and just one has pushed. As a road team in 2019-20, the Bolts are 9-8 SU.
Tampa Bay currently has the first-best power-play unit in the NHL, as it’s scored on 29.5 percent of its extra-man advantages this season. Its penalty kill is ranked 14th overall, and it has successfully killed off 81.1 percent of its penalties..
Averaging 27.9 saves per game with a .906 save percentage, Andrei Vasilevskiy (17-11-2) has been the primary option in goal for Tampa Bay this year. If head coach Jon Cooper chooses to rest him, however, Tampa Bay might turn to Curtis McElhinney (4-6-2 record, .905 save percentage, 3.21 goals against average).
Montreal is 18-22 straight up (SU) and has lost 8.6 units for moneyline bettors thus far. 21 of its matches have gone over the total, while 17 have gone under and just two have pushed. This season, the team is 8-11 SU at home.
The Canadiens have converted on 23.6 percent of their power play chances this year, a figure that’s good enough for eighth-best in the league. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 27th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 76.0 percent of all opponent power plays.
Carey Price has denied 27.0 shots per game as the top netminder in goal for the Canadiens. Price has 16 wins, 16 losses, and three OT losses and has maintained a pedestrian 3.03 goals against average and a subpar .901 save percentage this season.
Tampa Bay Lightning at Montreal Canadiens Betting Predictions
NHL Prediction: SU Winner – Canadiens, O/U – Over
For both of these clubs, the total has gone over in four of their past five matches.
Tampa Bay has managed 32.6 shot attempts per game over its last five road games while Montreal has been attempting 39.0 shots per game over its last five at home.
Over Montreal’s last ten outings, four of them have been decided by two or more goals (the team is 3-1 in those games).
This game features two of the tougher defenses in the league. Tampa Bay skaters have accounted for the league’s 10th-most hits per game (23.1) while the Canadiens have tallied the third-most (27.4).