Saturday NHL odds: Maple Leafs favourites hosting Canadiens

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Toronto Maple Leafs centre John Tavares (91) takes a face off against Montreal Canadiens centre Jesperi Kotkaniemi (15) during first period NHL hockey action. (Nathan Denette/CP)

The Toronto Maple Leafs will be looking to snap a three-game losing streak when they take on the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night as -190 favourites on the NHL odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Toronto’s struggles continued on Thursday with a 3-2 loss to Washington that leaves the team with just four total goals in three outings ahead of Saturday’s matchup at Scotiabank Arena. Thursday’s loss to the Capitals as -175 chalk also brought a halt to a four-game win streak on home ice, which had been one of the few bright spots since the calendar turned to 2019.

The Maple Leafs rang in the New Year trailing only Tampa Bay in the NHL standings with 54 points through 39 contests. However, the team has struggled with consistency since then, going 10-9-2 over their past 21 outings, and now find themselves with a slim three-point lead over Montreal for third place in the Atlantic Division standings.

Despite their recent shaky play, the Maple Leafs continue to sit among the leaders on the Stanley Cup odds, joining Calgary and San Jose as +700 co-second favourites. The team has also dominated in recent dates with Montreal, posting wins in six straight meetings with the Canadiens, who enter Saturday’s clash as +155 underdogs.

Saturday’s game marks the start of an eight-game stretch featuring seven road contests that could hold the key to Montreal’s bid to lock down a playoff spot. The Canadiens hit the road after sweeping a brief two-game homestand, capped by Thursday’s decisive 5-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers as a -150 wager. However, Montreal has scored just four total goals while losing three straight road outings.

Elsewhere on the Saturday NHL odds, the Edmonton Oilers aim for consecutive wins for the first time since January 16 as they host the Anaheim Ducks as -145 betting favourites, while the Vancouver Canucks try to halt a 2-5-2 slide as they host the Metropolitan Division-leading New York Islanders in a matchup set as a virtual pick’em.

With Thursday’s 4-3 victory over the Islanders as +100 home underdogs, the Oilers put the brakes on a 1-8-3 swoon that has dumped them into 14th place in the Western Conference. The Canucks failed to pay out on -120 odds in Thursday’s 2-1 OT loss to the visiting Arizona Coyotes, and are now winless in both their past two overall and their past two on home ice.

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