Canadiens, Senators battle division rivals as underdogs on Saturday

Sportsnet’s Kyle Bukauskas spoke with Jonathan Drouin, Claude Julien and Carey Price following their loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Montreal Canadiens will be trying to halt a three-game losing streak when they close out a seven-game road trip against the Florida Panthers on Saturday as +100 underdogs on the NHL odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Montreal has struggled offensively during the 3-6-1 run it takes into Saturday night’s Canadiens versus Panthers betting matchup at BB&T Center, potting two or fewer goals on seven occasions during the 10-game stretch.

The Canadiens’ swoon has hurt their chances of claiming a playoff berth. Montreal now sits a full 10 points back of third-place Boston in the Atlantic Division standings, and has seen their Stanley Cup odds seriously tumble to a lengthy +5000 after opening at +1500.

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While the Canadiens look to avoid extending their free-fall, the Panthers aim to tally a fifth straight win on Saturday while pegged as -130 home favourites.

It has been a rough first half to the season for Florida, which recorded consecutive wins just three times in 33 games prior to its current win streak. The Panthers moved one point up on Montreal with Thursday’s 3-2 win over Philadelphia as -113 chalk, but have lost four straight to the Canadiens including a 5-1 defeat at Bell Centre as +121 underdogs on Oct. 24.

Elsewhere on Saturday, the Ottawa Senators will be trying to avoid losing to Boston for a second time this week when they host the Bruins on Saturday as +125 underdogs. The Senators closed out a dismal three-game road trip against division rivals with a 5-1 loss in Boston as +172 underdogs on Wednesday night.

The Bruins have marched into playoff contention during their current 14-3-2 run, but dropped a disappointing 4-3 shootout decision in Washington as +112 underdogs on Thursday.

Later on Saturday night, the Vancouver Canucks look to notch consecutive wins for the first time since Dec. 5 as they host the Los Angeles Kings as +110 underdogs. Veteran winger Thomas Vanek and rookie Brock Boeser combined for nine points in the Canucks’ 5-2 win over Chicago as +112 home underdogs on Thursday night to halt a four-game slide.

The Canucks are a meagre 2-7-1 in their past 10 outings overall, including a 1-5-0 mark in six home dates. However, Vancouver welcomes a struggling Kings squad that has won just twice in seven outings since ending an eight-game win streak, and also fell 3-2 to the Canucks as -172 home chalk on Nov. 14.