Game 1 Canadiens vs. Penguins Prediction: Stanley Cup Qualifier Odds

Jeremy Perry | Fri. Jul 31 2020, 06:07 am

Jake Guentzel, Penguins, 2019

The Penguins were one of the big beneficiaries from the hiatus as it allowed them to get star forward Jake Guentzel back in the lineup versus the Canadiens.

Montreal
31-31-8-1
AT
August 01, 2020, 8:00 PM ET
Scotiabank Arena
Pittsburgh
40-23-6
Puckline +1.5 -170
Moneyline +160
Over / Under o +5.5

15%

Betting Action

85%

Puckline -1.5 +155
Moneyline -175
Over / Under u +5.5

15%

Betting Action

85%

The Montreal Canadiens and Pittsburgh Penguins will get their qualifying series going on Saturday. The Pens are the biggest favorite in this round on the series price as the Canadiens have collected the fewest points of any team currently in the bubble. Will this be quick and painless for the Pens or will the Canadiens pull a surprise here? The Penguins are a -166 favorite for this contest with a total of 5.5.

Canadiens vs. Penguins NHL Playoff Odds

We saw three meetings between these teams in the regular season and each time, there were exactly five goals scored. The Pens did win two of the three meetings.

On the year, the Canadiens were 17-21 against teams with a winning record. They haven’t played well against the Pens, though, as they’ve dropped six of the last nine meetings overall. Meanwhile, the Pens were 22-12 on the season when facing teams with a losing record, so that’s a good sign as they head into this series.

Montreal Canadiens

The Canadiens look like one of the few teams with no real shot at a Stanley Cup. They’re just several cards short of a deck and their main anchor – goaltender Carey Price – is in the midst of one of his worst seasons. If this team is to have any shot on Saturday or beyond, he’ll have to stand on his head. The challenge is that the Habs have the eighth-worst team save percentage and were at a paltry .898 after the All-Star break. Price has really labored as only once in the last 11 seasons has he had a GAA of 2.79 – his current number – or higher.

Montreal’s offense mustered just 2.67 goals-per game after the All-Star break and they don’t really have any game-breaker type of players. If this turns into an offensive battle of any kind, they might find themselves in trouble. About the only good news is that goaltending is not a strength for the Pens, who had the third-worst save percentage after the All-Star break (.893).

Pittsburgh Penguins

The Penguins were one of the big beneficiaries from the hiatus as it allowed them to get star forward Jake Guentzel back in the lineup. Guentzel, who compiled 43 points in 39 games this season, was knocked out for four-to-six months at the end of December. Now he’s back and he’s going to be a key piece to a loaded Pens offense. This is a team that finished 10th in goals per game at 3.20 but keep in mind they dealt with a slew of injuries this season.

These teams squared off three times in the regular season and the Pens won two of the three meetings. However, keep in mind that Sidney Crosby only played in one of the three matchups, so that’s a big factor.

NHL Prediction: Who Will Win Canadiens vs. Penguins?

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