The Boston Bruins will travel to the world’s most famous arena as they battle the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. It’s time to check out our NHL odds series by making a Bruins-Rangers prediction and pick.
It is a battle between two of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. Significantly, the Bruins have exploded to a 9-1 start, while the Rangers are 6-3-2 through 11 games.
The Bruins are coming off a wild 6-5 comeback victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Initially, it looked gloomy for the Bruins, who trailed 5-3 after allowing four second-period goals. But things changed in a heartbeat for the Bruins in the third period. First, Pavel Zacha connected off a pass from Hampus Lindholm to cut the deficit to 5-4. The Bruins still trailed with under two minutes left when Taylor Hall tied the game off a pass from David Pastrnak and Lindholm. Now, it was time for overtime. Both teams took their shots in the extra session, but Lindholm sealed the deal with a masterful slapshot that careened past goalie Tristan Jarry for the game-winner. He finished with one goal and three assists, which was a career-high in points for a game for him.
The Rangers shut out the Philadelphia Flyers 1-0 in overtime on Tuesday. It was scoreless in the extra session when Chris Kreider broke free on a breakaway and dipped a shot just underneath the pad of Carter Hart to sink the game-winning goal. Significantly, Igor Shesterkin stopped all 19 shots he faced for his first shutout of the season.
The Rangers won the season series last season, taking two of the three games. Substantially, they won the only battle at Madison Square Garden in a shootout victory. The Rangers are 4-5-1 over the previous 10 games against the Bruins at the Garden. Overall, the Rangers are 5-5-1 over the past 11 games against the Bruins.
Here are the Bruins-Rangers NHL odds, courtesy of FanDuel
NHL Odds: Bruins-Rangers Odds:
Boston Bruins: +1.5 (-250) ML (+104)
New York Rangers: -1.5 (+198) ML (-125)
Over: 6 (-110)
Under: 6 (-110)
Why The Bruins Could Cover The Spread
The Bruins have won plenty of games despite not having the services of Charlie McAvoy. However, Lindholm has been a bright spot in his absence. He has produced three goals and eight assists. Stunningly, he has never finished with more than 31 points, so he has a chance to shatter that mark this season. Pastrnak has been on fire to start the season with seven goals and 11 assists, including two powerplay goals. Additionally, Patrice Bergeron continues to excel with four goals and six assists with one powerplay goal. David Krejci remains consistent, with two goals, six assists, and one on the powerplay. Likewise, Jake Debrusk is enjoying some success with three goals and five assists. Taylor Hall has supplanted five goals with two assists and one powerplay goal, including three game-winning goals.
Linus Ullmark has been outstanding in the net. So far, Ullmark is 7-0 with a 2.19 goals-against average and a save percentage of .932. He likely will start today and will look to stop the Rangers from generating anything on offense.
The Bruins have the most goals in the league and are 10th in goals allowed. Additionally, they rank fourth in shooting percentage and ninth in powerplay percentage. Boston is also the best team in the NHL on the penalty kill.
The Bruins will cover the spread if they can score early. Substantially, they are facing a much better goalie today and will have a more challenging time scoring two third-period goals. They absolutely cannot collapse in the second period again.
Why The Rangers Could Cover The Spread
The Rangers continue to set the mark for excellent play. Amazingly, they are doing this despite struggling on offense. The offensive lull has not affected Artemi Panarin, who has generated five goals and 11 assists, including one powerplay goal. Also, Mika Zibanejad has remained consistent with six goals and seven assists, including an astounding five powerplay goals. Vincent Trocheck has scored four goals and five assists, with two goals on the extra-man attack. Additionally, defenseman Adam Fox has two goals and seven assists. Alexis Lafreniere continues to struggle with only two goals and three assists through 11 games.
Shesterkin continues to play at an elite record, going 6-0-2 with a 2.22 goals-against average and a save percentage of .921. He will have the difficult task of stopping the top-scoring team in the league.
Despite the scoring ability, the Rags only rank 13th in goals and an ugly shooting percentage of 31st. They must convert more of their opportunities and put the Bruins in a hole.
The Rangers will cover the spread if they can get to Ullmark early. Additionally, the defense must help Shesterkin protect the net and stall the potent scorers on the Bruins.
Final Bruins-Rangers Prediction & Pick
It will be a great game between two top teams. Ultimately, this feels like a Rangers win, as they have the star power to take down the Bruins.
Final Bruins-Rangers Prediction & Pick: New York Rangers: ML (-125)