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Canadiens Bring Winning Streak into Series vs Jets

Amped-Up Montreal Pounces on Rested Jets

Both the Winnipeg Jets and Montreal Canadiens fans can breathe sighs of relief as their teams are on to the second round of the North Division playoffs on Wednesday. The Jets put their unbeaten record on the line as they welcome the surging Canadiens, fresh off a stunning comeback from a 3-1 series deficit vs. Toronto.

Montreal finds itself in a familiar position as online betting underdogs at +120 while Winnipeg will be a favorite for the first time as well at -140. The NHL betting lines are similar for the series outcome, but look for that to change quickly as the winner of this first game goes on to win the series nearly 70 percent of the time.

Nikolaj Ehlers of the Winnipeg Jets and teammates celebrate Ehlers game-winning overtime goal against the Edmonton Oilers
Jason Halstead/Getty Images/AFP


Canadiens: Underdog Kings

In some ways, the Montreal Canadiens’ hard-fought comeback has been overshadowed by the Toronto Maple Leafs’ collapse. But take nothing away from Montreal, which had to hold off two Leafs comeback attempts and then came within seconds of shutting them out in Game 7.

Carey Price was phenomenal as always. The future Hall of Famer posted a 93.2 save percentage (SV%) against the Leafs and helped keep the NHL’s leading goal scorer in Auston Matthews to just one goal despite his 35 shots.

Backing up Price, the Canadiens’ skaters finally started producing. From the role players like right wing Corey Perry to the star players making a comeback like right wing Tyler Toffoli to the young guns like center Nick Suzuki, Montreal got some clutch goals. The Canadiens re-ignited the long dormant power play and are looking great at the best time.

Jets: Whiteout Returns

The Winnipeg Jets are taking a cue from Toronto to have fans in the stands for the home opener of their second-round series. Up to 500 fully vaccinated health care professionals will be in the stands in the Bell MTS Place.

They may not be too many, but the Jets will need every bit of energy they can feed off as they will be looking to rub out the nine-day rust. Winnipeg is well aware it will have to weather the storm that Montreal brings as the Habs start fast and get physical.

The long rest, however, also allowed the banged-up members like right-wing Nikolaj Ehlers and center Pierre-Luc Dubois to recuperate. And while Winnipeg has a penchant for starting slow at home, they can make improbable comebacks, as the Edmonton Oilers found out in Game 3 of their series.

Pick: Road Rampage

The Montreal Canadiens are still riding high having completed a comeback just two nights ago. They’ll ride that momentum and take it to the awakening Winnipeg Jets, who have been outscored 35-23 in the first period at home.

The Jets, despite also having the ability to come back, are only 8-12-1 at home when tied or behind after one period and 7-13-1 when tied or behind after two. So the odds aren’t in their favor.

Even if Winnipeg has the explosive speed and deft scoring to allow it to score fast and in bunches, the Canadiens have the size and speed to keep them down. Montreal does slow down toward the end, but Price should once again shut the door on any comeback ideas as Montreal continues its winning streak.

Pick: Montreal Canadiens +120

Bonus Pick: First Blood

With Winnipeg’s tendency to start slow at home and Montreal’s tendency to open with a bang, bet on Montreal to draw first blood and get the first goal of the series. Montreal has scored first in 21 of its 32 games, including all four in Toronto.

Winnipeg, on the other hand, has allowed the first goal in 17 of its 30 games at home. This could be compounded even further by Montreal’s momentum and Winnipeg’s long rest. Montreal scores first.

Pick: Team To Score 1st – Canadiens (-105)

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