The Montreal Canadiens (8-7-1) head to face the Columbus Blue Jackets (5-9-1) at Nationwide Arena on Thursday. Montreal is coming off a 5-1 loss against the Devils on Tuesday, ending a three-game unbeaten streak.
The Canadiens committed only two penalties in the game, yet still conceded a power play goal. Evgenii Dadonov scored the lone goal for the Canadiens. Jake Allen saved only 34 of 38 shots against (.894%) in the loss. Columbus beat the Flyers 5-4 (OT) on Tuesday. Boone Jenner scored twice to lead the Blue Jackets. Joonas Korpisalo surrendered two goals on 20 shots (.900%).
HEAD TO HEAD
The Blue Jackets won all three games between the teams last season, including a 5-1 victory in their final meeting in April, their fifth straight win against Montreal.
Patrik Laine led Columbus with three points (1G 2A). Ryan Poehling scored Montreal’s only goal. Elvis Merzlikins got the win, saving 20 of 21 shots (.952%).
Montreal is averaging 2.94 goals per game for the season, 21st in the NHL, and they are taking on a Blue Jackets team that is allowing 4.33 goals a game (32nd). Meanwhile, Columbus has found the net 2.87 times a game on average, 23rd in the league, and the Canadiens are allowing opponents to score 3.31 goals per game (21st).
The Blue Jackets’ 11.11% power play percentage is the second-worst in the league, while Montreal’s 15.56% conversion rate ranks fifth-lowest. In terms of penalty killing, Montreal has the league’s 14th-ranked PK% at 79.25%, while Columbus is 16th at 78.57%.
With 19 points this season, Nick Suzuki is the top skater for the Canadiens. He is among the league leaders with 10 goals (6th) and has added nine assists.
In the net, Sam Montembeault (3-1-1) is Montreal’s top goaltender by goals against average. He has a 2.38 GAA and a .930% save percentage. Allen (5-5-0) leads the Canadiens in games played in goal.
He has a GAA of 3.19 and a save percentage of .902%. Johnny Gaudreau leads the Blue Jackets in scoring with 13 points. He has six goals and seven assists.
Merzlikins (2-5-0) is the top goalie for Columbus with a goals against average of 4.81. He has a save percentage of .863%.
HOME AND AWAY
Montreal is 3-3-1 on the road this season. Columbus is 4-5-0 at home this season.
SportsTips’ NHL Pick:
Columbus Blue Jackets (-110)
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*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of BetMGM.