The Vegas Golden Knights (7-8-1) are touring Canada and after beating the Ottawa Senators they visit the Montreal Canadiens (8-5-3) who are coming off an overtime loss to Buffalo Sabres. In Vegas’ first NHL season, the Canadiens won at home 3-2, but the Golden Knights smashed them 6-3 in Vegas.
It’s a tough living on the road
The Vegas Golden Knights have lost six of their nine games on the road this season which is the most road losses in the league, and all six came straight up to make it looks more ugly. The matchup with the Canadiens will be their third in a row in Canada, as the Golden Knights started their journey with a 3-1 defeat at the Toronto Maple Leafs last Tuesday. Two days later, they bounced back with a 5-3 win at the Ottawa Senators, dropping the 3-0 lead in the 3r period to edge the game with a couple of quick goals.
Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury has a 7-6-1 record with a 2.51 GAA and .901 save percentage, playing his 15th season in NHL. The center Jonathan Marchessault is leading the way for the Golden Knights with seven goals and seven assists, while William Karlsson has added three goals and eight assists. The winger Alex Tuch is back from the injury, and he had a couple of secondary assists in Tuesday’s win over Ottawa after scoring three goals and two assists in seven appearances so far. Vegas is 29th in the league in goals per game (2.38), 11th in goals against (2.75), and 2nd in shots against per game (25.3).
Defense starts to be an issue
The Montreal Canadiens are having a solid season so far, but they’ve started to struggle defensively allowing at least three goals for six games in a row. The Canadiens have lost four of their previous six games and they are on a two-game losing streak after a 5-3 defeat at the New York Islanders and a 6-5 loss to the Buffalo Sabres last Thursday. Interestingly, the Canadiens are allowing just 29.1 shots per game which is 5th-best in the league.
Goalie Carey Price is the first option for the Canadiens, and he has a 5-4-3 record with 3.07 GAA and .892 save percentage, while Antti Niemi has a 3-1 record with 3.13 GAA and .893 save percentage. The center Max Domi has been excellent thus far, scoring nine goals and ten assists. The winger Tomas Tatar had added six goals and eight assists, whilst defender Jeff Petry is the best assist-maker with 11 assists in 16 games. Montreal is 15th in the league in goals per game (3.19) and 18th in goals against (3.19).
Vegas Golden Knights:
- 3-8 in the last 11 games on the road
- 2-6 in the last six games on the road against the Eastern Conference.
- Under is 9-3 in the last 12 games overall
- 6-9 in the previous 15 games at home
- Over is 4-1 in the last five games overall
- 3-4 in the last seven home games against the Western Conference
The Winner Prediction
The Golden Knights are pretty inefficient in this term, but this could easily change in the further weeks. The season is still young, and there is time to improve, while Vegas’ defense is doing a good job. On the other side, the Canadiens are scoring well, but also allowing a lot of goals despite they are 5th in the league in shots allowed per game. This could be a chance for Vegas to improve its record on the road, so I’m backing them to beat the Canadiens, at least in the overtime.
The Pick: Vegas Golden Knights (-110)
Four of the last five Montreal’s games had at least six goals in total, while just two of Vegas’ last five games had more than five goals on the scoreboard. Vegas will try to continue with solid defense, and if Montreal finally plays a good defense this one could be easily finished in the under. I’m worried about the Canadiens, but I’m also worried about Vegas’ offense.
The Pick: Under 5.5 goals (+100)