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NHL Free Pick | Golden Knights at Canadiens

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The Montreal Canadiens continue to surprise everyone. The team with the worst record entering the postseason has evened its Stanley Cup semifinals series with Vegas and welcomes the Golden Knights to the Bell Centre on Sunday night for Game 4.

With Montreal getting a 3-2 win in Game 2, the Canadiens now have a great opportunity in front of them with two games at home. Montreal has won its last three games in a row at the Bell Centre. There was a prevailing theme in each of those three wins and it will play a role in Game 4 on Sunday.


Game: Vegas Golden Knights (49-18-4) at Montreal Canadiens (33-25-11)
When: 8:00 PM ET, Sunday, June 20, 2021
Where: Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Current Line: OFF Total: OFF
TV Coverage: NBCSN
Montreal beat Toronto in Game 6 at home in their first-round playoff series. The Canadiens won 3-2 in overtime. Goaltender Carey Price stopped 41 shots (.953 save percentage) in the victory.
In Game 3 of their second-round series against Winnipeg, Price stopped 26 shots as Montreal won 5-1. The Canadiens defense then took over in Game 4. Montreal limited Winnipeg to just 16 shots. Price stopped 14 of them and the Canadiens won 3-2 in overtime to advance to the Stanley Cup semifinals.
Among teams remaining in the postseason, Montreal is tied with Tampa Bay for the lowest goals against average, 2.31. Itís a pretty large improvement over their regular season GAA which was 2.89 and ranked No. 18 in the league.


Speaking of defense, there might not be a better defensive hockey team than Vegas. The Golden Knights finished the regular season ranked first in goals allowed per game, 2.18. In the postseason, they rank just behind Tampa Bay and Montreal at 2.33.
Vegas goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury has been outstanding in the playoffs. Fleuryís 1.92 GAA ranks first among goalies left in the playoffs. In 15 games this postseason, Fleury has allowed three or fewer goals in each of them. Teams can win a lot of games when they only give up a goal or two.
The defenses for both Montreal and Vegas are the key to betting Sundayís game. So far, the total has been set at 5.5 for Game 1 and 5 for Game 2. The total number of goals scored in each game so far has been 5.
Expect either 5 or 5.5 as a total for Sundayís game and, either way, play the Under. The Under has cashed in four of the last five games that Vegas has played on the road. Itís similar circumstances for Montreal where the Under has hit in four of the teamís last five home games.
Itís also likely that Vegas is favored on Sunday, regardless of the outcome of Game 3. In the last nine games when the Canadiens have played as the underdog, the Under has hit in six of them.
With these two defenses duking it out and the stellar goalie play of both Fleury and Price, play the Under despite the low total.

NHL Free Pick: UNDER down to 5
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