Montreal (22-15-3) at Philadelphia (15-15-7)
When: Tuesday, January 5th 2016
Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
Time: 7:35 ET | TV: NBC Sports
The Montreal Canadiens look to build their momentum after their Winter Classic win when they visit the Philadelphia Flyers tonight. The Habs ended December losing seven of eight and scoring a total of 11 goals in that stretch. Winger Brendan Gallagher returned from a month long injury absence to score a goal and an assist in Montreal’s 5-1 win over Boston at Gillette Stadium on New Year’s Day. Montreal is 17-4-2 when Gallagher plays and despite missing 17 games, he’s still third on the team with 10 goals. Second leading scorer Dale Weise is now lost with an arm injury for at least two-to-three weeks. The five goals Montreal scored on Friday were the most they’ve scored since before Thanksgiving. The Canadiens started out 9-0, and lost star goalie Carey Price in late November and have since given up the Atlantic Division lead to upstart Florida. Ben Scrivens, who will receive his second start since being acquired from Edmonton on December 28th, is expected to platoon with rookie Mike Condon while the Canadiens await the return of Price. This will be the end of an eight-game road trip for the Habs who will return home tomorrow to face the Devils.
The Flyers started a streak after Thanksgiving winning eight of twelve before going out over New Year’s and getting swept three straight in California. With the Flyers struggling to find any offense, coach Dave Hakstol paired captain Claude Giroux with fellow forwards Jakub Voracek and Wayne Simmonds in Monday’s practice. Giroux hopes the big body of Simmonds in front of the net will help him get going again. Giroux has just one point in his last eight games and it was a direct faceoff goal against San Jose last Wednesday. Philly scored just five goals in the three losses to San Jose, Anaheim, and Los Angeles and are second-worst in the NHL scoring just 2.11 a game. Flyers G Steve Mason has surrendered four goals in each of his last two games, but is 3-0-0 with a 1.63 goals-against average in his career versus the Canadiens. The Flyers lost all three games to Montreal last year, but two of them went to overtime.
Montreal might be turning things around, but that was just one outdoor game. Mason has been great against the Habs and the Flyers play much better at home. I’ll take Philly tonight.
Pick: Flyers -118