The Boston Bruins continue to blaze a path over their rivals, with the latest being a 3-2 overtime win against the Rangers on Wednesday night. Let’s check out this rematch between these two East Division foes and keep on cashing our NHL picks!
Boston Bruins vs. New York Rangers
Friday, February 12, 2021 – 7:00 PM ET at Madison Square Garden
Bruins Drive for Five
The Bruins sit atop the East Division courtesy of a stellar 9-1-2 mark that was enhanced on Wednesday night when they traveled to Madison Square Garden and took on the Rangers. When the dust settled, Boston’s pesky but talented forward, Brad Marchand, beat Alexandar Georgiev low on the stick hand side just 36 seconds into the overtime frame to seal a 3-2 victory and give the Bruins four consecutive victories, and eight wins over their last nine games.
After a dozen games, the B’s have only experienced a single loss in regulation and that came back on January 18th when they fell, 1-0, to the New York Islanders. All the pieces are fitting and the goaltending tandem of starter, Tuukka Rask, and veteran backup, Jaroslav Halak, has been outstanding.
Boston has been able to overcome slow starts early and major deficits late in the game to come out on top this season, thus, it was not surprising that New York drew first blood when Julien Gauthie lit the lamp midway through the first period to put the Blueshirts on top. But consecutive Boston goals by Chris Wagner and Anders Bjork gave the Bruins a 2-1 advantage before Kevin Rooney knotted the game at two apiece midway through the third period.
“That’s the mentality we have always had in this room, we are one,” Marchand said. “We battle adversity together. We win and lose as a team. We feed off a line or a guy. Guys are just stepping up and making big plays right now.”
Wanna Make a Bet?
Friday night the B’s will be gunning for their fifth straight win while the Rangers are desperately trying to find their groove and move out of the low rent district in the East Division cellar. But if we look at the Rangers objectively, we can see that this is certainly not a bad team, only one that has had the misfortune of getting a tough early-season schedule against some very talented divisional opponents.
Furthermore, the Rangers straight up record might be 4-5-3 but their ATS record, using the puck line, is 9-3 compared to the Bruins at 3-9 ATS. We should also consider that New York will most likely employ Igor Shesterkin between the pipes this time around as he has been getting the lion’s share of the starts, but got a breather on Wednesday night when Alexandar Georgiev tended the twine.
If we take a look at the raw numbers between the two netminders, we see that Shesterkin’s stats (3-3-1, 2.31 GAA, .915 save percentage) are clearly superior to Georgiev’s (1-2-2, 3.21 GAA, .890 save percentage). As far as Boston is concerned, both goalies are top-shelf but there is a slight chance that Rask will sit after playing on Wednesday and Halak will get the nod. It’s only a possibility because the Bruins had a pair of games with the Sabres postponed before they took the ice on Wednesday against the Rangers, giving Rask and his teammates plenty of time to wind down.
One other thing to consider is that Boston has played their last five games on the road with this contest, their sixth, looming and a date with the Islanders on Saturday. That’s a lot of time on the road in a short span, and eventually that catches up.
Finally, the early NHL odds being dealt on this game shows the Bruins as high as -180 which seems like a lot of juice to lay considering the competitiveness of their last game against New York. Even a freight train comes to a stop and the Bruins will eventually lose, and it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility that it happens on Friday night.
There is plenty of value on the moneyline with the home dog here at Sugar House. A case could be made for betting the Rangers +1 ½ but you will lay upwards of -185 for the privilege, and if things go south, that’s a gut-punch to your bankroll.
Free NHL Pick: Rangers +150 at Sugar House