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Canadiens Looking For Consistency As McDavid, Dangerous Oilers Pay Visit

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The Montreal Canadiens are in search of consistency. Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers are looking increasingly dangerous. The two North Division rivals will both be going all-out for the win on Wednesday night.

Montreal is in fourth place in the North standings, five points behind Toronto and Edmonton. The Oilers have won seven of 10 to move into a virtual tie with atop the North standings alongside Toronto (20-10-2).

Goaltender Mikko Koskinen of the Edmonton Oilers makes a save against Mitchell Marner of the Toronto Maple Leafs
Codie McLachlan/Getty Images/AFP

The Canadiens are desperately in search of some consistency after failing to record consecutive wins since Feb. 1 and 2. Edmonton will look to extend its three-game winning streak. Let’s find out if the Canadiens can take care of business as the sportsbook betting pick at home or whether the Oilers will get it done on the road.

The NHL odds for this Wednesday night division matchup go live following Tuesday’s six-game slate of action.

Edmonton Oilers (21-13-0) at Montreal Canadiens (14-8-9)

When: Wednesday, March 24, 2021, at 7:30 PM ET

Where: Centre Bell, Montreal, QC

TV: SN, RDS

McDavid in MVP Form, Draisaitl Too

Reigning Hart Trophy winner Leon Draisaitl would probably be leading this year’s MVP race – were it not for his superstar teammate Connor McDavid. The 2017 Hart Trophy winner leads the NHL in scoring with 60 points. McDavid is tied with Toronto’s Auston Matthews for the league lead in goals (21) and leads all players in assists (39).

For his part, Draisaitl is second in points (50), tied for second in goals (18) and second in assists (32). Edmonton ranks second in scoring (3.4 gpg), seventh in shots per game (31.3) and fifth in power play percentage (27.0%).

The Oilers have been a middle-of-the-pack team defensively. Edmonton ranks 16th in goals allowed (2.9 gpg) and 19th in shots allowed (31.0). The Oilers have been well above average in ranking 11th in penalty killing (76.0%). Edmonton took out Winnipeg 2-1 on Thursday and 4-2 on Saturday to improve to 6-0 in its last six home dates.

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Canadiens Have Lost Their way

Montreal got off to an encouraging 7-3 start through 10 games, but it’s been pretty much, downhill since then. The Canadiens have gone 4-6 over their last ten. Montreal managed to get past Vancouver 5-4 in a shootout on Saturday to snap a two-game skid. Still, the Canadiens are 2-4 over their last six games.

The Canadiens are ranked 10th in scoring (3.2 gpg) and 12th in goals allowed (2.7 gpg), but they don’t play like a team with those kinds of encouraging numbers. Center Tyler Toffoli is tied for second in goals scored (18). Unfortunately, goalie Carey Price has been mediocre at best, ranking 31st in goals-against-average (2.71). Montreal has gone 6-5-2 and $-328 at home this season.

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Who to Bet On, Though?

Edmonton has played well below its talent level for the last few years, but the Oilers have got things rolling nicely this season. Point-blank, Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are almost locks to find the back of the net or dish the puck for a score every game.

Edmonton has won 10 of 12 against a team with a losing record and seven of its last nine games overall. Montreal is 5-11 in its last 16 games and 28 in its last 10 home dates against Edmonton. The road team is 4-0 in the last four meetings and the Oilers are 11-5 in the last 16 meetings. I’m banking on Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl being better than everyone else on the ice to lead the Oilers to the solid road win.

Pick: Edmonton 4, Montreal 3

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