Jets host struggling Canadiens as slim betting favourites

The Hockey Central @ Noon panel discuss the rough performance by Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price against the Minnesota Wild, how he will eventually figure it out, and how Montreal's playoffs hopes may rest with him.

The Winnipeg Jets will be gunning for a fourth straight victory when they host the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday as -135 favourites on the NHL odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Winnipeg is coming off a 5-2 win over the Dallas Stars on Thursday in a home date listed as a pick’em at the sportsbooks, and has surrendered just four total goals in its three straight victories ahead of Saturday night’s Canadiens versus Jets betting matchup at Bell MTS Centre.

The Jets defence has powered a 7-3-2 start that has lifted them into second place in the NHL’s Central Division standings. Winnipeg has not allowed more than two goals in each of its past five outings, and has given up just 2.4 goals per game in five home dates since getting shelled in a 7-2 loss to Toronto as -117 chalk on opening night.

The Canadiens limp into Winnipeg as +115 underdogs after get outclassed in a 6-3 loss in Minnesota as +106 underdogs on Thursday, ending a brief two-game win streak. Montreal has posted wins in three of its past five outings, but it has been an otherwise dismal start for the Canadiens, who sit dead last in the Eastern Conference with a 4-8-1 record, dropping them to +3300 on the Stanley Cup odds.

And an injury to goaltender Carey Price (lower body) comes as unwelcome news to the Canadiens. The 2015 Hart Trophy winner is off to a shaky start, compiling a 3.77 goals-against average and .877 save percentage in 11 appearances, and will miss Saturday’s contest. Montreal has won 12 of 16 meetings with the Jets, but is just 1-2 in its past three games in Winnipeg without Price between the pipes.

In other NHL betting action on Saturday, the Toronto Maple Leafs wrap up a four-game road trip in St. Louis as +115 underdogs. The Maple Leafs are coming off a sloppy 5-3 loss in Los Angeles as +124 underdogs on Thursday, and have recorded just two wins in seven outings after opening on a torrid 6-1-0 run.

Pegged as -135 chalk on Saturday, St. Louis sits atop the Central Division with 21 points, and is an impressive 14-6-0 in 20 dates with the Maple Leafs since 2000, including seven wins in 10 home meetings.

As well, the Ottawa Senators will be looking to maintain a one-point lead over Toronto in the Atlantic Division standings as they host the expansion Vegas Golden Knights as -190 chalk, while the Vancouver Canucks take on the Pittsburgh Penguins as +127 home underdogs.