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NHL Tuesday best bets: Senators to take care of business in Montreal

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Monday was a solid night for our best bets. The Winnipeg Jets bested the St. Louis Blues in regulation and Pierre-Luc Dubois came through with three shots. Unfortunately, Jordan Kyrou missed the net six times and finished one shot shy of giving us a perfect 3-0 night.

We'll try our luck at perfection again with a pair of bets for Tuesday's slate of games.

Senators (-190) @ Canadiens (+160)

The Ottawa Senators are unlikely to make the playoffs once again - they would have to leapfrog too many teams in the second half of the season - but they could close the gap to as little as six points with a win tonight.

All signs point towards them getting one against a putrid Montreal Canadiens team.

Ottawa is in far better form at five-on-five, having controlled more than 54% of the high-danger chances over the last 10 games. That's a top-five rate in the NHL.

Comparatively, Montreal has posted a 43% high-danger chance share over the same period. That's a bottom-five rate.

The Senators are likely to have a significant edge in terms of controlling the run of play. That should prove fruitful given the talent advantage at hand.

They have Brady Tkachuk, Tim Stutzle, Alex DeBrincat, Thomas Chabot and Claude Giroux, among others, while an already thin Canadiens lineup is without its biggest scoring threat in Cole Caufield.

Not to mention, the top dogs on the Senators get to shoot on an ice-cold goaltender in Jake Allen. He has dropped eight of his last nine starts and conceded four goals or more in all but one of them. He owns a .877 save percentage in that span, ranking 63rd among 67 eligible netminders.

While Anton Forsberg hasn't been lights out, his .903 save percentage over that same period is actually above league-average. He should give the Senators an edge between the pipes and make it hard on the Canadiens to compensate for a lack of talent throughout the roster.

I like the Senators to take care of business inside 60 minutes.

Bet: Senators in regulation (-110)

Capitals (-210) @ Blue Jackets (+180)

We are going to get a little creative with this one. It is not a side - nor a game total - that stands out in this game. No, it is a first period market.

The Washington Capitals are a structured, slower-paced veteran team that sort of feels its way into games. That leads to very few goals in the opening frame, as they've netted just 35 through 52 affairs. Only five teams have scored fewer times in the first period this season, all of whom are near the basement of the NHL.

Unsurprisingly, the Columbus Blue Jackets are one of those teams. They have scored only 29 times in the opening period this season. That's more than the Chicago Blackhawks and nobody else.

They are a very shallow team that has to try and play things tight to the vest to hang around in games for any amount of time. They've done a good job of that against Washington this season, as the two sides faced off twice this month and neither meeting featured more than a goal in the first period.

I like that Washington is a structured defensive side that doesn't tend to have glaring defensive breakdowns. I like that the Blue Jackets are essentially a one-line team that struggles to score on a nightly basis. I also like that we're getting an ideal goaltending matchup.

Darcy Kuemper has quietly played very well for the Capitals in his debut season with the team. He has appeared in 34 games and owns a rock-solid .915 save percentage.

While Joonas Korpisalo lags a little behind, his numbers are strong as well. He has a .909 save percentage to date and has saved 3.8 goals above expected. In comparison, his tandem-mate Elvis Merzlikins has conceded 23.9 goals more than expected. That's an unfathomably large swing.

I don't see a ton of chances being traded early in this game and the goaltending should be competent at both ends. Expect a slower start in these teams' last game before the All-Star break.

Bet: Under 1.5 first period goals (+115)

Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @ToddCordell.

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