Montreal Canadiens vs. Vegas Golden Knights Game 1 Prediction, Playoff Odds

Payton Matthews | Updated Jun 11, 2021

Now a member of the Vegas Golden Knights, former Montreal Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty is set to face his old club in the playoffs, with a spot in the Stanley Cup Final on the line.

Montreal
24-21-8-3
AT
June 14, 2021, 9:00 PM ET
T-Mobile Arena
Vegas
40-14-0-2
Puckline +1.5 -146
Moneyline +187
Over / Under o +5.5

58%

Betting Action

42%

Puckline -1.5 +121
Moneyline -225
Over / Under u +5.5

58%

Betting Action

42%

For the first time ever, the Montreal Canadiens and Vegas Golden Knights will meet in the postseason as they open Game 1 of their semi-final series in Las Vegas on Monday. The Knights are heavy favourites on the NHL odds with a total of 5.5 goals.

Canadiens vs. Golden Knights Stanley Cup Odds

On the puckline for Game 1, the Canadiens are -120 at +1.5 and the Knights at +100 at -1.5. The under 5.5 goals is a slight -120 favourite. On the regulation line, Vegas is -156, Montreal +311 and a draw at +360.

Vegas is the -355 favourite on the series line with Montreal +249. The favoured exact result is Golden Knights in six at +353, which is where this writer is leaning. The long shot is Canadiens in a sweep, just like they did to the Jets, at +2800. To win the Cup, the Knights are +119 favourites and the Canadiens are +800 long shots.

Because of the unusual realignment this season, the teams didn’t play each other in the regular season. In the 2019-20 regular season, Montreal won both games 5-4 – one in overtime and one in a shootout. The Habs lead the all-time series 5-1 and are 2-1 in Las Vegas, which has become one of the toughest places to play in the NHL. The total has gone over in the past five meetings.

For what it’s worth, the winner of the Golden Knights-Canadiens series will claim the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl, but obviously more important, a spot in the Stanley Cup Final opposite either the Lightning (my pick) or Islanders.

Montreal Canadiens

This will be a bit of a unique situation for Montreal: Playing outside Canada for the first time since March 3, 2020. Of course, the NHL shut down the 2019-20 regular season due to the COVID outbreak and then held the playoff bubble in Canada. All Canadian clubs played one another only this year. Also, it will be the first time the Habs play in front of a full house of fans since the 2019-20 regular season. Vegas has one of the loudest buildings in the league.

Montreal is riding an incredibly unlikely seven-game winning streak – they haven’t trailed since a Game 4 loss to Toronto in the first round — and there’s a prop on when that streak ends: At seven games is the -286 favourite, followed by eight (+285), nine (+800) and 10 or more (+2500). Carey Price has been playing at a Conn Smythe level so far, leading all goaltenders with a .935 save percentage in this postseason. Tyler Toffoli leads the team with 10 playoff points and has a six-game points streak (4G, 4A). There’s a prop on when that ends, with Game 1 a -125 favourite and Game 2 at +242 all the way through Game 5 and beyond (+1100). The major injury concern: Blueliner Jeff Petry. He missed Game 4 vs. the Jets with a hand injury.

Vegas Golden Knights

Like Montreal, the Knights are being carried by a future Hall of Fame goaltender in Marc-Andre Fleury. Vegas fell down 2-0 to the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Colorado Avalanche in the last round (Fleury didn’t start Game 1), but roared back to win the final four games. The Knights cruised Thursday at home in Game 2, 6-3, as Fleury earned his 89th career playoff win, surpassing Billy Smith and Ed Belfour for sole possession of the fourth-most in postseason history. Next up is former Oilers legend Grant Fuhr at No. 3, with 92 victories.

William Karlsson leads Vegas with 11 points in these playoffs, while former Canadiens winger Max Pacioretty has eight, despite missing six games due to injury (healthy now). The Knights are the third franchise in league history to reach the final four in three of their first four NHL seasons. Of course, Vegas reached the Cup Final as an expansion team but lost to Washington. The inaugural NHL seasons for the Golden Knights (2017-18) and Canadiens (1917-18) were 100 years apart, which marks the largest such gap in NHL history among franchises meeting in a postseason series. These teams won’t meet in another postseason, barring realignment, unless it is in the Stanley Cup Final. Vegas is coached by Dunnville-born Peter DeBoer, a former Kitchener Rangers coach.

NHL Playoff Prediction: Who Will Win Canadiens vs. Golden Knights?

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