NHL Betting: The Ottawa Senators can rule over the Montreal Canadiens


Philadelphia - Pittsburgh

Fresh off completing a 48-hour double over Washington the Pittsburgh Penguins face another heated division rival even closer to home with the Philadelphia leg up first.

Far more than any other club in the Metropolitan the Flyers have shown an ability to get under the Pens' skin through a physical approach that suits their top lines, and it's 1-1 so far this season after away wins in both contests.

Since February began Philly have 15 points from 20 and a red hot captain lighting the way. Claude Giroux's 15 points in that spell alongside upturns for Jake Voracek and Scott Hartnell have made them an offensive outfit to be wary of once again.

In the opposing locker room James Neal's concussion rules the winger out for an indefinite period and means Dan Bylsma must reshuffle Evgeni Malkin's line as well as their powerplay, Beau Bennett and Pascal Dupuis were already unavailable so there's a few inexperienced minor leaguers playing significant minutes though they've managed to mask that pretty much all year.

Pittsburgh do have three straight victories coming in but this matchup is rarely about form more about their application on the night, so back the Flyers to agitate Malkin and Crosby on the way to edging it at 2.70.


Montreal - Ottawa 

I'm not sure there's another team as wildly variable in their nightly efforts as the Senators but they've had good success against Montreal this campaign and I think they are the way to go in this one.

It's fair to say when it goes wrong for Paul MacLean's guys it goes very wrong as only two teams have conceded more and had more defeats by three goals than Ottawa, despite those stats they are contending although a surge will be needed at some stage.

Three straight losses make the Canadiens a vulnerable target especially when goalscoring is now a real issue, their powerplay can no longer be relied upon and that has hit them hard. Adding Ales Hemsky was expected to help out Jason Spezza and Erik Karlsson though perhaps not as much as his quickfire six assists in two games, and if he continues his early form he could prove a deadline bargain.

A couple of the previous clashes went to OT so the tie could be in play for 3.80, I would take the Senators to utilise their extra speed and escape from Bell Centre for a second time.


Best Bet: Ottawa Senators to win at 3.15