The NHL is set up with another great night of hockey on Tuesday. Ten games are up on the board throughout February 2. One of these matchups will be between the Vancouver Canucks and the Montreal Canadiens. These two teams have had solid starts to the season and will look for a big win in this one. This game will drop the puck at around 7:00 PM Eastern time.
The Canucks have earned a record of 6-6 so far this season, which has them sitting in third place of the North Division. Vancouver is coming off a loss in their last game, which ended a four game winning streak. The Canucks will look to bounce back with a win in this one. Vancouver was dominated by the Canadiens last night and will look to come out better.
Montreal has put up a record of 6-1-2 throughout the early part of this season, which has them in second place of the North Division. The Canadiens are coming off a win in their last game and have won four of their last five games. Montreal will look to build off their win on Monday night as they enter another matchup with Vancouver.
These two teams have had solid starts to the new season and will look to earn another big win in this one. This will be their fifth game of the season series this season and their second game in two nights. I expect both teams to have a good feel for each other, which should lead to a quick start on Tuesday night. This should be a great game on February 2.
The first game of this season’s series was on January 20 in Vancouver. Tyler Toffoli had a hat trick on the night and Jesperi Kotkaniemi had a goal and an assist, but it was not enough. Brock Boeser and Bo Horvat each had two goals and an assist. J.T. Miller had three assists on the night as well. Bo Horvat scored the game winner in the shootout to give the Canucks a 6-5 win.
The second game of the season series was on January 21. Bo Horvat had two goals, while Tyler Myers had two assists. It was not enough for Vancouver though. Joel Armia had two goals and two assists on the night. Tyler Toffoli had two goals and an assist as well. Twelve different players had a point for the Canadiens as Montreal won 7-3.
Vancouver also hosted the third game of the season series on January 23. Nils Hoglander and Elias Pettersson both scored for the Canucks, but it was not enough. Jonathan Drouin finished with a goal and an assist. Montreal scored three goals in the third period and Carey Price stopped 23 of 25 shots. The Canadiens were able to win 5-2 on the night.
The most recent game was on February 1 in Montreal. Adam Gaudette and Jay Beagle scored for the Canucks, but it was not enough. Jeff Petry scored two goals and had an assist. Nick Suzuki and Artturi Lehkonen both had a goal and an assist. Carey Price finished with 27 saves on 29 shots to help lead the Canadiens to a 6-2 win.
Vancouver has not been great on the power play this season, but have been better on the penalty kill. The Canucks have scored on 6 of their 44 power play opportunities, which is 13.6 percent power play. Vancouver has given up 11 goals on 52 power plays against, which is a 78.8 percent kill rate. The Canucks will look to turn it around in this one.
The Canadiens have been solid on both sides of special teams so far this season. Montreal has been able to capitalize on 9 of their 31 power play chances, which is a 29 percent success rate. The Canadiens have killed off 33 of their opponents 41 power play attempts, which is an 80.5 percent penalty kill. Montreal will look to keep their special teams going in this one.
Montreal has been better on special teams entering this game. The Canucks have not been able to get their power play going yet this season and will need to find some rhythm. Vancouver has not been horrible on the penalty kill, but will have a tough job stopping Montreal’s dangerous power play. If the Canucks can clean up their special teams play in this one, it could help give them an edge.
Thatcher Demko will likely get the start in the crease for the Canucks on Tuesday night. Demko has started six games throughout this season, earning a record of 3-3 through those starts. He has put up a save percentage of .914 and a 3.21 GAA in his starts this season as well. Demko’s last start was against the Winnipeg Jets, where he stopped 23 of 24 shots in the win.
I expect Jake Allen to get the nod in the net for Montreal in this one. Allen has put up a record of 2-1 through his three starts so far this season. He has posted a .933 save percentage and a GAA of 1.68 through those games played. Allen turned away 31 of 32 shots against the Calgary Flames in his last start, which was not enough for the win.
These two goalies have been strong throughout the early portion of this season, which has helped them earn solid records. Both goalies will come into this one a bit more fresh after each sitting on the bench during Monday night’s tilt. Allen has had the better numbers this season, but Demko has played in more games so far. If either goalie can control the pace early in this one, it could help propel their team to a big win.
These two teams are meeting for the fifth time this season, with Montreal having won three in a row entering Tuesday’s game. The Canadiens dominated Vancouver early on Monday night and the Canucks will need to find a way to come out better in this one. If Vancouver can switch some things up on the short rest, I think they can pull off an upset on the road.
BetOnline has Montreal listed as a -157 against the money line in this one. This implies that the Canadiens will win this game around 61.1 percent of the time. Montreal has been the better team this season, but this line seems big for the fifth meeting of the season. These two teams have a good feel for each other. I think the Canucks can pull off this upset and as underdogs, I see a lot of value in them.