The Florida Panthers return home to battle the Montreal Canadiens, while the battle for second place in the Metropolitan Division takes place between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the New York Rangers.
Florida Panthers (-400) vs Montreal Canadiens (+310)
The Panthers are returning home after a long seven-game road trip that saw them tire by the end of it. Now they are back in their own arena where they’ve completely dominated going 26-6-0. The Canadiens have won and then lost two in a row for a cycle of almost four times in a row now but they’ve kept games close when they’ve lost.
Expect the league’s highest-flying offence to pot some goals, especially against one of the worst teams in the league and one that allows the second-most goals. The Panthers got much better after the trade deadline while the Canadiens sold. This is the second time these teams have played since the deadline with the first game going to the Panthers 4-3. The season series is 2-0 for the Panthers after a 5-2 win earlier in the season. Expect the third game to go to the Panthers, but for value, consider taking the over (O6.5, -120).
Pittsburgh Penguins (-160) vs New York Rangers (+135)
These teams played just four nights ago with the decision going in favour of the Rangers. It was a one-sided game and the Penguins came back and scored 11 against the Detroit Red Wings in the following game. The loss will be fresh in the Penguins’ minds and this time they are at home. Expect a much better start to the game and a hard-fought battle all the way through.
The Rangers have won four of their past five games but are just 3-3-0 in their previous six games away from home. This is another big-time matchup for second place in the division, and by the way, these teams dominate at home, so that advantage in the playoffs will come into play. This will be the third game between the two after the Penguins took the first one 1-0 in late February.
Evgeni Malkin recorded a hat trick last game and is up to 16 goals in 30 games on the year. The Penguins are deep and should be the team to take this game while also hitting the over (O5.5, -120) since it’s pretty low for the high-scoring games these teams have been a part of recently.
Odds via Yahoo and BetMGM.