Florida Panthers vs. Montreal Canadiens Betting Preview
Where: Bell Centre, Montreal
When: Thursday, March 30, 2017, 7:30 PM ET
NHL News and Predictions
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Betting on the Florida Panthers (33-32-11)
The Panthers have some goalie problems at hand. Roberto Luongo isn’t 100 percent sure he could return to action with a lower-body injury. Luongo’s main backup, James Reimer, meanwhile, suffered an upper-body injury on Tuesday during a 3-2 road loss to Toronto.
With Reimer’s status up in the air, the Panthers could turn to third-string goalie Reto Berra who allowed a goal on 10 shots faced while subbing for Reimer in the Toronto game. The possible absences of their top two goalies should knock some sense of urgency to the Panthers’ offense that produces 2.5 goals per game.
Center Jonathan Marchessault will try to punctuate a fantastic month in which he has scored 10 goals in 14 games thus far this March. He’s been on fire lately, netting six goals in his last five games, including a hat trick in a 7-0 win over Chicago last Saturday.
Florida is 5-1 in its last six meetings with the Habs.
Betting on the Montreal Canadiens (43-24-9)
Montreal will not play Carey Price any more this regular season as the Habs want their top goalie to get all the rest he can before the playoffs. Al Montoya, however, could join Price on the sidelines later tonight, as the backup goalie incurred a lower-body injury in a 4-1 win over Dallas on Tuesday.
Like Florida, the Canadiens could see a third-string goalie work between the pipes in Charlie Lindgren, who has been just recalled from the minors.
Having newcomner Lindgren play for the Habs and face lethal scorers like Marchessault, Vincent Trocheck, and Aleksander Barkov is going to put Montreal’s nerves to a test. The Canadiens could calm down though with some early scores, alleviating a ton of pressure from the defense. Montreal is fifth in the league with 2.4 goals surrendered per contest.
The offense has to provide some cushion for Lindgren or whoever it’d be starting as goalie for Montreal. The Habs are averaging 2.7 goals per game on the season but has found the back of the net seven times the past two games.
The total has gone under in three of the Habs’ last four games.
Montreal (-210) wins, 4-2.
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