Free NHL Picks Today: Tampa Bay Lightning vs Montreal Canadiens 3/18/23

Free NHL Picks Today: Tampa Bay Lightning vs Montreal Canadiens 3/18/23
Sat 18th March 2023

The Tampa Bay Lightning (41-22-6) and their opportunistic power play offense host the Montreal Canadiens (27-36-6), one of the league’s worst penalty killing teams, at Amalie Arena on Saturday. Montreal is coming off a high-scoring 9-5 loss against the Panthers on Thursday.

The Canadiens committed six penalties in the game, conceding one power play goal. Five players found the net for the Canadiens. Mike Matheson and Anthony Richard both scored and provided an assist to lead the team in scoring.

Sam Montembeault saved only 21 of 24 shots against (.875%) after starting in the loss. Tampa Bay beat the Devils 4-3 (SO) on Thursday. Steven Stamkos was the leading goal scorer for the Lightning, netting twice. Andrei Vasilevskiy saved 32 of 35 shots.


The Lightning have won both games between the teams this season, including a 4-1 victory in their most recent meeting in December. Brayden Point (2G 0A) and Victor Hedman (0G 2A) each had two points to lead Tampa Bay. Kaiden Guhle scored Montreal’s only goal. Vasilevskiy got the win, saving 25 of 26 shots (.961%).


Montreal is averaging 2.77 goals per game for the season, 28th in the NHL, and they are taking on a Lightning team that is allowing 3.01 goals a game (15th).

Meanwhile, Tampa Bay has found the net 3.45 times a game on average, seventh in the league, and the Canadiens are allowing opponents to score 3.70 goals per game (27th).

Montreal averages fewer shots/game (27.5) than most teams in the league, ranking 30th, though the team’s 10.3% shooting percentage is 14th. Tampa Bay’s average of 32.1 attempts ranks 13th.

Look for a few power play opportunities for the Canadiens, as the Lightning have been penalized 4.48 times a game, fourth-most in the NHL, for an average of 11.83 minutes (third-highest).

The visitors are averaging 4.33 penalties (sixth) and 12.03 penalty minutes a game (1st). The Lightning will be seeking to build on their second-ranked power play percentage of 25.52% against the Canadiens, who are the league’s third-weakest penalty killing team (72.69%).

Montreal, meanwhile, has scored on only 16.34% of their power play opportunities (29th), which the visitors will be aiming to improve on against Tampa Bay’s 15th-ranked 79.82% penalty killing rate.


With 51 points this season, Nick Suzuki is the top skater for the Canadiens. He has 21 goals and 30 assists in 69 games. In the net, Montembeault (13-13-3) is Montreal’s top goaltender by goals against average. He has a 3.34 GAA and a .904% save percentage. Jake Allen (14-23-3) leads the Canadiens in games played in goal.

He has a GAA of 3.56 and a save percentage of .892%.Nikita Kucherov leads the Lightning in scoring with 97 points (3rd in the league).

He has 27 goals and 70 assists (2nd). Vasilevskiy (31-17-4) is the top goalie for Tampa Bay with a goals against average of 2.67. He has a save percentage of .914%.


Montreal is 13-19-3 away from home this season. Tampa Bay is 24-6-5 at home this season.

SportsTips’ NHL Pick:

TB Lightning +2.5 (+115)

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*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of BetMGM.

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