Senators vs. Canadiens prediction: Our NHL pick is the favorite on Tuesday, Jan. 31

Senators vs. Canadiens prediction: Our NHL pick is the favorite on Tuesday, Jan. 31
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The Senators are trying desperately to salvage a once-promising season.

Ottawa has won three games on the spin and is favored at -210 to make it four in a row against the lowly Canadiens on Tuesday night in Montreal. A win for Ottawa would put it just six points back of the Penguins for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Sens would still be a long shot to get in, but at least there would be some hope heading into the All-Star break.

Senators vs. Canadiens prediction (7 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

Perhaps the most frustrating part of this season for Ottawa is that it isn’t playing all that poorly. The Sens have the seventh-best shot attempt rate and 13th-best expected goal differential at five-on-five this season, but their actual five-on-five goal difference ranks 29th overall.

Mathieu Joseph #21 of the Ottawa Senators
Mathieu Joseph #21 of the Ottawa SenatorsGetty Images

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In other words, the Senators are a major positive regression candidate for the rest of the season.

The Canadiens, meanwhile, are just plain bad. A young, rebuilding team, the Habs have struggled defensively all season and it’s only going to get worse as the team deals with a litany of injury issues. Montreal will be without eight regulars against Ottawa.

Betting on the NHL?

Montreal’s defense ranks 31st in preventing high-danger scoring chances, so the Senators should have plenty of scoring chances to get the separation needed to cover this puckline on Tuesday night.

Senators vs. Canadiens pick

THE PLAY: Senators -1.5 goals (+140, BetMGM).