Montreal at Tampa NHL Betting Preview & Pick

Posted by Aaron . on March 31, 2017 in

The Montreal Canadiens (44-24- 9, 97 points) continue their swing through the Sunshine State to take on the Tampa Bay Lightning (38-29- 9, 85 points) on Saturday night. Montreal routed Florida on Thursday, 6-2, while the Lightning also come in on a high note, having taken down Detroit, 5-3, at home on Thursday. Here’s a closer look at the NHL betting pick and prediction for the game.

Montreal at Tampa NHL Betting Preview & Pick

When: Saturday, April 1, 2017, 7:00pm ET
Where: Amalie Arena, Tampa, FL
TV: SunS
Radio: Montreal / Tampa Bay

Why should you bet on the Canadiens?

The Canadiens clinched a playoff spot with their rout of the Panthers on Thursday night, and they head to Tampa riding a three-game winning streak and with five wins in their last seven. Five different Habs scored on the night, and Carey Price logged 29 saves. Montreal looked headed to a collapse similar to the one that kept them out of the postseason last year, but then they brought in Claude Julien to coach on February 14, and the team has won 13 of 19 since then. The trade for Jordie Benn at the deadline has shored up the Canadiens’ defense. They face a Lightning team whose fortunes appear headed in the opposite direction.

Why should you put your money on the Lightning?

Tampa Bay lit the lamp five times against Detroit without one of their biggest offensive weapons, Nikita Kucherov, who missed the game with an illness. The Lightning scored twice on the power play and three at even strength, with five different players contributing. Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 31 Detroit shots, and the Lightning continue their hot pursuit of Boston for the last wild card in the Eastern Conference. Victor Hedman’s assist set a team record for points by a defenseman in a season with 66, showing the balance that the Lightning bring. If you like them against Montreal, you see them coming in hungrier in their playoff pursuit than the Canadiens, who have already punched their own postseason ticket.

Betting Pick and Final Score Prediction

I like the gritty Lightning in their pursuit of a playoff spot, but the Canadiens are too hot right now. I predict a 4-3 Montreal win.