Canadiens vs. Penguins Free Pick
(The Spread) – Can the Canadiens fix their early season woes by upsetting the Penguins tonight in Pittsburgh?
MONTREAL: The Canadiens have gotten off to a slow start this year, winning just one game in their first five outings. They’re coming off a 3-1 loss to the Sabres on Tuesday, which was their third loss in a row. Max Pacioretty leads the team in points with five while Carey Price is currently carrying a 2.78 goals against average. The Habs are also 1-1 on the road this year.
PITTSBURGH: Unlike Montreal, the Penguins have started 2011 fast by winning four of their first eight games. They’re 4-2-1-1 on the year, which includes a 1-1-1-0 mark at home. They erased a three-game losing streak with a 4-2 win at Minnesota on Tuesday and will return home for the first time since October 15. Kris Letang leads the team in both points (7) and plus/minus (+3) (although he’ll miss tonight’s game due to a suspension), while Brent Johnson is currently sporting a 1.92 GAA.
ODDS: Oddsmakers have installed the Penguins as –143 money line favorites over the visiting Canadiens, who are +132 on the ML. The over/under total for this game is currently sitting at 5 goals.
FREE PICK: Take Montreal. According to latest NHL trends, the Canadiens are 5-1 in their last six games against the Penguins and 4-1 in their last five road games versus Pittsburgh. The road team is also 4-1 in the last five meetings between these two teams while the underdog is 5-1 in the last six meetings. Montreal has gotten off to a slow start this season but a win in Pittsburgh cold give the Habs momentum going forward.
THURSDAY NHL FREE PICK: MONTREAL CANADIENS +132