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Montreal Canadiens vs. New Jersey Devils (5:00 PM ET)
The start of Claude Julien’s second reign in Montreal’s bench hasn’t been smooth with the team going 2-2-0 but a 3-2 overtime win over Toronto on Saturday could be the spark this team is looking for moving forward under the new coach. A home game against the bumbling Devils, who have lost their last three outings, has Habs fans expecting another win. After all, Montreal has defeated New Jersey twice this season with an aggregate score of 8-3.
The Devils are in the middle of a hellish stretch. They lost to the Rangers on Saturday (4-3 OT) then will hit the road to face Washington and Boston after dealing with Montreal tonight.
Writer’s Prediction: Montreal (-130) wins, 4-2.
Ottawa Senators vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (7:30 PM ET)
In a surprising move, the Lightning traded goalie Ben Bishop to the Kings, getting Peter Budaj along with defenseman Erik Cernak and some picks in return.
It’s unclear whether Budaj will be the starter right away or if he’s even ready to suit up tonight but either way, the Lightning have Andrei Vasilevskiy, who is 11-13-5 with a 2.81 GAA and .909 SV% this season. Vasilevskiy gave up just a goal on 28 shots faced in a 4-1 win over Ottawa back in Oct. 22, but had a letdown effort in the rematch with the Sens, surrendering four goals in a 5-2 loss on Jan. 2. The Sens are 2-2 in their last four visits to Tampa, while the Lightning are 3-1 in their last four at home.
Writer’s Prediction: Tampa Bay (-195) wins, 4-3.
Los Angeles Kings vs. Minnesota Wild (8:00 PM ET)
The Kings and the Wild have engaged in two high-scoring contests this season, but those were when they didn’t have their respective best goalies in between the pipes. Tonight, though, Jonathan Quick—along with a shiny new backup—and NHL save percentage leader Devan Dubnyk will be staring at each other across the ice.
Quick returned after a 59-game absence due to injury and immediately impressed on Saturday, allowing just a goal on 33 shots faced in a 4-1 win over Anaheim. He should keep that form as he’ll be up against a Wild side that is third in the league with 3.3 goals for per game. Minnesota even got a boost with the addition of Martin Hanzal via a trade with Phoenix, though it’s unlikely he’ll make his debut tonight.
The Wild are 8-2 in the last 10 home starts of Dubnyk, who is 32-11-3 with a 2.01 GAA and .933 SV% thus far this season.
Writer’s Prediction: Minnesota (-140) wins, 3-2.
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