Price tasked with slowing down McDavid
The Canadiens didn’t look anything like their typically dominant selves in Thursday’s 5-0 loss to Calgary. Will the Atlantic Division stalwarts put forth a more representative effort this evening?
Claude Julien’s team skates into Edmonton at 7 p.m. ET. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives Connor McDavid & Co. odds of -135 to take care of business at home. Conversely, Montreal checks in as a +115 underdog.
Over the past several weeks, the Habs (38-22-8) have revealed some cracks in what once was a pretty impenetrable armor. In addition to the aforementioned debacle against the Flames, Julien’s dealing with a slew of injuries. Alexander Radulov has missed three consecutive contests due to a lower-body problem. Another top-six forward, Tomas Plekanec, currently seems relegated to practicing in a no-contact jersey.
No. 1 goalie Carey Price himself is fighting a nasty case of the flu. The former Vezina winner wouldn’t dare miss such a marquee matchup in Alberta, though, as the Oilers (35-23-9) are vying to make the playoffs for the first time since 2006. They’ll try to bounce back from a 3-2 shootout defeat at the hands of Pittsburgh.
Todd McLellan’s group tends to enjoy a lot of success vs. the Canadiens, having captured five of the last six meetings between these two clubs. With the stretch run approaching, however, we’re unwilling to bank on a second straight clunker from the visitors.
SUNDAY NHL FREE PICK: CANADIENS +1.5