The Boston Bruins have a demonstrated propensity for pacing themselves through a busy spate of games – and some motivation to get up for a game against the New York Rangers.
The Bruins are the -145 away favorite on the NHL odds with the Rangers coming back at +125, and there is a 6.0-goal total for their matchup on Wednesday night at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
The Bruins, who defeated the New York Islanders on Tuesday, are 7-2 this season in the second leg of back-to-back games. The Rangers won the most recent meeting on January 19, when Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask suffered a concussion after a collision caused by the Rangers’ Filip Chytil. The Rangers are 1-7 in their last eight home games as an underdog.
The Bruins, led by their fine first line of Patrice Bergeron and wings Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak, are 28-17-7 this season, which includes an 11-10-4 away record. Boston is 4-6 over its last 10 games, but two games since coach Bruce Cassidy called out his defense corps, including captain Zdeno Chara, were both low-scoring wins against the aforementioned Islanders and the Washington Capitals.
The Bruins have the NHL’s No. 3-ranked power play (27.3 percent) and the Rangers’ penalty kill is 25th overall (77.1 percent).
Rask played on Tuesday night, so Jaroslav Halak, who is is 13-9-3 with a 2.49 goals-against average and .918 save percentage, would figure to start in goal for the Bruins.
The Rangers are 22-22-8, and have won nearly half their games at home where they are 13-8-6 at Madison Square Garden. First-line center Mika Zibanejad has been a one-man show on offense with nine goals and 15 points in his last seven games, but even by the standards of scoring streaks that might not be sustainable, as he has had more than two shots on goal in only three of those contests.
The Rangers have also struggled to get production on the regular from the lines centered by Kevin Hayes and Ryan Strome. The Rangers’ power play is 15th in the league (20.9 per cent), while the Bruins’ penalty kill is also in the middle of the pack, ranking 17th (79.5 percent).
The total has gone UNDER in seven of Boston’s last nine games when it played the previous day. However, the total has gone OVER in nine of the Rangers’ last 10 games as an underdog at home according to the OddsShark NHL Database.
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