Canadiens favourites vs. Pacioretty, Golden Knights in Saturday NHL odds

Tomas Plekanec responds after being placed on unconditional waivers by the Montreal Canadiens.

The Montreal Canadiens will be looking to rebound from their first consecutive losses of the season when they host Max Pacioretty and the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday as -125 home favourites on the NHL odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Montreal followed up Tuesday’s 5-3 defeat in New York with a disappointing 6-5 overtime loss to the Buffalo Sabres as -135 home chalk on Thursday, and has dropped four of six outings ahead of Saturday night’s Golden Knights vs. Canadiens betting matchup at Bell Centre.

The Canadiens’ recent uneven results come on the heels of an unexpectedly strong 5-1-2 start. But despite dropping three of four at home, Montreal enters the weekend in sole possession of third place in the Atlantic Division standings, and a vastly improved +3000 wager on the Stanley Cup odds.

For Pacioretty, Saturday’s contest marks his first visit to Montreal since being dealt to Vegas in the offseason. The former Canadiens captain has endured a slow start in the desert, mustering just two points in 12 outings for the Golden Knights, who arrive in Montreal searching for consecutive wins for the first time in three weeks.

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Elsewhere, the Vancouver Canucks look to cement their position atop the Pacific Division standings when they open the Saturday schedule with an afternoon date in Buffalo as +130 underdogs, and the Ottawa Senators try to halt a five-game road losing streak as they visit the league-leading Tampa Bay Lightning as a lengthy +260 wager.

The Calgary Flames look to overcome their first loss in five games as they visit the basement-dwelling Los Angeles Kings as narrow -115 chalk, while the Toronto Maple Leafs aim for their eighth win in nine regular-season matchups with the Bruins when they open a four-game road trip in Boston as +115 underdogs.

The Canucks paid out on +220 odds after outgunning the Bruins in Thursday’s 8-5 win. Vancouver has now won four of their last five games, storming to the top of the divisional standings while averaging 5.2 goals per game during that stretch.

Vancouver has also posted wins in four of five road dates with Eastern Conference opponents, and has taken four of five from the Sabres, who return home as -140 favourites despite posting losses in four of their past six outings.

The Senators capped a controversy-plagued week with Thursday’s 5-3 loss to Vegas as +145 home underdogs, but face a Lightning squad that has won four straight and sports an NHL-best 7-2-0 home record.

The Flames are coming off a 3-2 defeat in Anaheim as -140 favourites, and have scored just one total goal in two straight losses to the Kings.

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