The Montréal Canadiens will be looking to advance to the Stanley Cup finals if they can beat the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday. Vegas took a 3-2 series lead with a 4-1 victory on Tuesday.
Here you can find the best picks, news, and stats for the NHL playoff semifinal battle at Bell Centre. Vegas is the favorite at -147. This according to PointsBet Sportsbook, which puts Montréal at +125 as the underdog.
Peyton Krebs is out for Vegas. Montréal will be without Jonathan Drouin and Jake Evans. Tomas Tatar is listed as questionable.
Early Surge Has Golden Knights Reeling
Montreal scored three goals in the first 30 minutes of the contest on their way to a 4-1 victory over Vegas. Max Pacioretty had the only goal for Vegas, his fifth of the postseason. Marc-Andre Fleury started for the Golden Knights and was mediocre, stopping 22 of 25 shots.
The Golden Knights are allowing 2.39 goals per game and the penalty killing has been mediocre at 72.2%. Fleury is 9-7 with a 2.04 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage. He has allowed three goals in three straight games and four of his last five starts.
Vegas is averaging 2.83 goals per game, fifth in the postseason, and are connecting on 8.9% of their shots, fourth overall. The power-play has been mediocre as well at 9.8%. William Karlsson has 14 points to lead Vegas in the playoffs but has just three points in the series.
Suzuki Leads Canadiens
Nick Suzuki scored a goal and added two assists to lead Montréal to the victory. Jesperi Kotkaniemi scored in the first period and Eric Staal and Cole Caufield added second-period tallies. Carey Price continues to be impressive in the playoffs, stopping 26 of 27 shots.
Montréal is allowing 2.19 goals per game in the penalty killing has been outstanding at 93.2%, tops in the postseason. Price has clearly been the difference in this series, going 11-5 with a 2.02 GAA and a .933 save percentage. He has allowed two goals or fewer in each of the last four contests.
The Canadians are averaging 2.50 goals per game and are connecting on 8.6% of their shots, fifth-best in the postseason. The power-play has been solid at 20%. With his three points, Suzuki now has 13, second-most in the postseason for Montréal.
- 1-4 in their last five games on the road.
- 10-2 in their last 12 games.
- 4-1 in their last five games at home.
Vegas Golden Knights vs. Montréal Canadiens Pick:
Oddsmakers seem to be locked on Vegas as the favorite, but this series is over. Fleury is not himself, as the Canadiens have figured out the Vegas netminder. He has not been very good in this series at all, winning Game 1, and has been mediocre ever since. There is no reason the look for him to turn things around as he may have nothing left in the tank.
Picks: Take Montréal it +125.
Vegas Golden Knights vs. Montréal Canadiens Total:
The sensible thing would be to push on this contest, considering that four of the five games in the series have finished with five total goals scored in the contest. However, the over is the pick. Look for Montréal to take an early lead and for Vegas to be desperate in trying to get back in the contest. That is going to lead to them taking a lot of chances, including pulling Fleury early which is going to drive up the score.
Pick: Go over 5.0 at -132