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Maple Leafs Canadiens Betting Tips – Canadiens Look To Avenge Season-Opening Loss On Hockey Night In Canada

Posted by Don Melrose on 2/6/2013 6:25:13 PM

When the Montreal Canadiens opened their season with a sports betting loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, it seemed as though it would be a sign of things to come for the team that finished at the bottom of the Eastern Conference a year ago. However, the Canadiens bounced back to win six of their next seven games, and are now challenging for first place in the Northeast division. The Canadiens can avenge that season-opening loss and move one step closer to securing a playoff spot when they host the Maple Leafs again on Saturday night, as the Original Six rivalry resumes on Hockey Night in Canada.

Toronto Maple Leafs @ Montreal Canadiens
Saturday February 9, 2013 – 7:00 PM ET
Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec
NHL Sportsbook Line: Montreal – 130

Toronto hasn’t looked nearly as good since squeezing out that 2-1 win at Montreal, winning just four of its next nine games to flirt with a .500 record out of the gate. A lack of production from their top line has been a major problem early on, although the Maple Leafs have been much better on the road than at home so far this season.

NHL Betting Preview: Toronto Maple Leafs

Phil Kessel has been in the spotlight, going scoreless through his first 10 games after leading Toronto in scoring from out the gate to the finish line last season. Kessel does have six assists and has had plenty of opportunities, but his inability to convert has been frustrating for a team that ranks just 17th in the NHL with an average 2.5 goals per game. For whatever reason, the Maple Leafs have actually been better on the road than at home with four wins in five games as the visiting team compared to a 1-4 record at the Air Canada Centre, a trend they will look to continue this weekend. James Reimer and Ben Scrivens have split the starting duties with neither emerging as the true No. 1, although Scrivens did limit Montreal to just one goal in the opening night win.

NHL Betting Preview: Montreal Canadiens

While the Maple Leafs have struggled on home ice, the Canadiens have turned it around with five-straight wins since losing to Toronto. A big part of that is the production Montreal is getting from each of its top-three lines, as rookies Alex Galchenyuk and Branden Gallagher have stepped up with a combined 12 points to help a Canadiens’ team that ranks fifth in the NHL with an average of over three goals per game. Andrei Markov is healthy and leads Montreal with eight points, but that could change with Max Pacioretty returning from an appendectomy sooner than expected. Carey Price ranks among the best in the NHL early on with a 1.70 goals against average, and is 6-1 so far.

NHL Betting Preview: Outlook & Pick

Gallagher wasn’t in the lineup for opening night and Galchenyuk wasn’t the same explosive offensive talent we have seen since the two were put on a line with Brandon Prust, who has taken up a ton of space with his size. The Canadiens have bounced back big time and are playing excellent hockey at both ends of the ice, so they should be able to cut in to the Maple Leafs’ early online betting success on the road.

NHL Betting Pick: Montreal Canadiens

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