NHL Betting Preview: Rivals Clash in NHL Northeast Battle

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The Northeast Division is wide open as there is still lots of NHL hockey to bet on this season. The Montreal Canadiens will be looking for an opportunity to steal a victory over the Ottawa Senators tonight in Montreal, as life without Mike Cammalleri begins.

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Currently the Habs find themselves an alarming handful of points out of the playoffs. Is it too late for the Canadiens to claw their way into the postseason picture? They’ll likely have to climb above equally disappointing Buffalo if they want to get there.

What’s most intriguing about how the NHL betting lines have played out, though, is the pair of non-contenders flirting with the division’s top spot. Sure they aren’t likely to catch up to reigning Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins, but that the Toronto Maple Leafs and Senators have even hung on long enough to be in this position is impressive enough.

Can Milan Michalek continue to contend for the goal-scoring lead with young Erik Karlsson battling for assists from the blue-line? The unexpected offensive output has helped the franchise bounce back from a disappointing 2010-11.

Despite the Sens’ resurgence in the standings in the first half of the season, however, NHL odds makers are still skeptical. According to Bovada’s NHL futures, Ottawa has just 60/1 odds of winning the Stanley Cup. The Habs - currently seven spots back in seventh in the conference - have 50/1, suggesting we may see some movement before season’s done.

Current Odds:

OTT (100) | 5½ | MON (-120)

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