The Vancouver Canucks will be looking to close the gap in the standings on fourth-place Montreal to just one point with a fourth straight win when they close out a two-game series with the visiting Canadiens on Wednesday as +125 underdogs on the NHL odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Vancouver overcame an early 1-0 deficit to claim a 2-1 shootout victory in Monday's series opener, and has posted wins in four of five outings ahead of Wednesday night's game at Rogers Arena.
Losers in 11 of 13 February outings, the Canucks surrendered four or more goals on eight occasions during their recent swoon. However, the Vancouver defence has tightened up considerably of late, holding opponents to just nine total goals in their past five overall outings.
In addition to rekindling their fading playoff chances, the Canucks' current three-game home win streak comes on the heels of a five-game slide on home ice, during which they were outscored by a wide 17-9 margin and shut out on two occasions.
While the Canucks take major strides back into playoff contention, Montreal searches for its first win in six road outings. Listed as -145 favourites at sports betting sites for Wednesday's contest, the Canadiens have moved in the right direction since interim head coach Dominique Ducharme took over behind the bench amid a worrisome 2-4-4 run. The Canadiens have earned at least a point in five straight contests, but have ended up losing in each of their past five outings that have gone to overtime or a shootout.
The Canadiens offence has struggled to find the back of the net, averaging just 2.2 goals per game during the team's five-game swoon on the road. However, even with Monday's loss the team has managed to score with regularity in recent trips to Vancouver, averaging over four goals per game while winning six of eight at Rogers Arena.
Earlier on Wednesday night, the Ottawa Senators look to tally a rare win over Edmonton as they continue a three-game series with the Oilers as +200 road underdogs. The Senators squandered an early lead on their way to a 3-2 loss in Monday's series opener, and are now winless in five meetings with Edmonton this season.
Listed as heavy -240 chalk for Wednesday's contest, the Oilers have now won two straight since being swept by the Toronto Maple Leafs in a three-game series a week ago. Edmonton has limited visiting teams to two or fewer goals in five of its last nine home dates. In addition, the Oilers have seen the UNDER prevail in four of their last five home dates, and in each of the team's past four meetings with Ottawa.