Washington Capitals vs. Montreal Canadiens Prediction, NHL Odds

Daniel Coyle | Updated Feb 17, 2024

The Canadiens will try to win two in a row on home ice for the first time since late October when they host the free-falling Capitals in Saturday NHL betting action.

Washington
38-31-6-5
AT
February 17, 2024, 7:00 PM ET
Bell Centre
Montreal
30-36-7-7
Puckline -1.5 +195
Moneyline -125
Over / Under o +6
Puckline +1.5 -250
Moneyline +105
Over / Under u +6

The Canadiens skated to a 5-0 victory over the visiting Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday but followed up with a lopsided 7-4 defeat to the New York Rangers on the road on Thursday, which marked their seventh loss in 10 games. The Capitals hit the road in the wake of Tuesday’s 6-3 loss to Colorado and have now lost eight of nine overall and six of seven on the road.

Playing at home has failed to boost the Canadiens, who lag as +100 underdogs on the Saturday NHL odds, but are perched as a short -250 puck line to stay within a goal of Washington. The Capitals lead the way as slender -120 favourites, and the total is pegged at 6.0.

Capitals vs. Canadiens NHL Betting Odds

With neither of these teams playing inspiring hockey of late, there are few positives to be found for NHL betting fans. The Habs have seen five of their seven recent losses come by multi-goals margins and have surrendered 4.40 goals per game during a 3-6-1 slide that has effectively snuffed out any lingering hopes of a late-season run at a playoff spot. In addition to this week’s rout of the hapless Ducks, the other bright spot for this club during their current swoon is their decisive 5-2 victory in Washington on February 6. The Habs have now taken three straight from the Caps including consecutive wins at Bell Centre in which they outscored Washington by a combined 9-4 margin.

The Capitals’ steady decline has gained momentum during their current 1-6-2 run. The club has mustered just 2.33 goals per game while teetering on the verge of freefall, and has also struggled to shut down opposing offences on the road. With the exception of their stunning 3-0 win in Boston last weekend, the Capitals have been regularly rocked, surrendering five goals per game over their preceding four road dates, fueling a 3-1-1 run for the UNDER in totals betting.

Washington Capitals

Alex Ovechkin has remained one of the few brights during the Caps’ steady decline. “Great 8” potted his third power play goal in six games in Tuesday’s loss to the Avalanche, and has now compiled six goals and three assists during a seven-game points streak. Ovechkin has also regularly feasted on the Habs, racking up 16 goals and 27 points over his past 19 appearances against Montreal, and should be on every sports bettor’s ticket as a -225 bet on the NHL player props to crack the scoresheet on Saturday, and is worth a value wager as a +950 bet to score the first goal. However, things have not gone so well for agitator Tom Wilson, who has yet to top the 22 points he tallied in just 33 games last season while picking up just three points in his past 24 games. 

Montreal Canadiens

The favourite whipping boy of impatient Habs fans during his slow start to the season, former first overall pick Juraj Slafkovsky has silenced his critics while recently flashing signs of his enormous potential. Slafkovsky has been red-hot since returning from the All-Star Break, piling up five goals and four assists in five games this month, extending his current points streak to seven games. That run includes a two-goal performance in the club’s recent win in Washington and five power play points. Skating a regular shift alongside Slafkovsky has also given Nick Suzuki a boost. The Habs captain has tallied 15 points during a nine-game point streak including two goals and a helper versus Washington, and has picked up three points with the man advantage over the past two games. 

NHL Prediction: Who Will Win Capitals vs. Canadiens?

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