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The Florida Panthers host the Montreal Canadiens tonight, in Sunrise. Can the Panthers stay hot at home? Tone's Takes breaks down the game and shares his picks.
ANALYSIS

Montreal Canadiens vs Florida Panthers Prediction: Can the Panthers Continue Their Red Hot Home Play?

The Panthers currently hold the top spot in the Atlantic Division as they have a six-point lead on Tampa Bay. Florida is one point behind Carolina for first in the East. Claude Giroux, who was acquired at the trade deadline from Philadelphia, will be playing in his first home game with the Cats. Giroux has notched four assists in his first three games as a Panther.

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Claude has been playing on Florida's top line with Barkov and Verhaeghe, and he is playing on the point on Florida's top power play unit. Due to Aaron Ekblad's injury, the Panthers have been going with an unconventional five forwards on PP1. Giroux and Huberdeau are manning the points and the combination of Reinhart, Barkov, and Duclair are upfront. That's an all-star team right there. The Canadiens, finally, were held under three goals in a shootout loss in New Jersey on Sunday night. Their offense has been very good under Martin St. Louis, especially youngster Cole Caufield. Cole has scored 13 goals and added 12 assists with St. Louis at the helm.  The Panthers are an absolute scoring machine on home ice. They are 18-9-6 at home where they average a league-leading 4.63 goals per game and they have the seventh-best home power play, clicking at a 26.2% clip. The Panthers are also leading the league in five on five goals at home, where they have scored 99 and they are third with 399 high danger scoring chances. Defensively, the Cats are allowing 2.84 goals per game at home and they have the 10th best penalty kill at 83%. 

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While the Canadiens have picked up the scoring pace under their new coach, they have continued to struggle defensively. They are allowing 3.14 goals per game under St. Louis. In Five on Five situations in the 21 games with their new coach, the Habs have allowed the 10th most goals and the 8th most high danger scoring chances. They have also given up the sixth most power play goals, which is not a good matchup against this Panther Power Play. Jake Allen recently returned from injury and he has played fantastic in net for the Habs. He has made at least 29 saves in all five starts since returning including a 38 save performance against this Florida team last Thursday. I think the Panthers' offense will be too much for the Habs to handle, I like the Cats to win this game and, as per their usual home games, expect to see plenty of goals. I will also be looking at Allen's save prop line, once released.

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Montreal Canadiens vs Florida Panthers Pick

Pick: Florida ML/Over 5.5 -120 (Bet $120 to Win $100)

I will most likely be on this as long as the books are offering plus money. Claude is a great playmaker and playing with the studs on this team will only amplify that. Giroux has recorded an assist in 2 of his 3 games with Florida. The Cats love to push the pace on home ice and G is a good bet to get another apple tonight.  

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Pick: Giroux over .5 Assists +110 (Bet $100 to Win $110)

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Article Author

NHL

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Tone has been handicapping the four major sports for over twenty years. An NHL enthusiast, Tone’s expertise lies on the ice. He’s excelled and profited finding the right angles on NHL games, particularly with player props, game props, and game totals. A contributor to several gaming sites, you can follow him on Twitter @TonesTakes.

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