The Boston Bruins in the New York Rangers will meet for the fourth time this season on Sunday. New York was 0-1-1 through the first two contests, but dominated the Bruins on Friday, 6-2.
Here you can find the best betting picks for this East Division clash at Madison Square Garden on Sunday. You also get the latest news and stats. Boston is the favorite at -178 according to PointsBet Sportsbook, while the odds for New York are at +150.
Boston is missing three of their defensemen, including Jeremy Lauzon, who broke his hand earlier in the week. Kevan Miller is listed as questionable. He hurt his knee in Friday’s contest. The Rangers will be without star forward Artemi Panarin who is out due to a personal matter.
Bruins Suddenly Slumping
The Boston Bruins (11-5-2) started out the month red-hot, winning their first five contests. However, things have changed quickly. They are losers of four of their last five games, including their last two. Goaltending has become a major issue, as the Boston netminders have allowed 23 goals during the five games. The Bruins offense has produced 15 goals, but seven of those came in one game. They have scored two in each of the other four contests.
Boston is averaging 2.94 goals per game (16 in the NHL) while allowing 2.72 per contest (10th). The special teams’ for the Bruins have been very good. They are seventh in the league on the power play at 27.3% in third in penalty killing it 87.3%. Boston has also been great at face-offs, winning 56.8% of them, first overall.
Tuukka Rask will get the start in net. He has started 11 games in his 7-3-1 with a 2.86 GAA and a .892 save percentage. Rask gave up all six goals in the loss to New York on Friday. He has allowed 13 total over the last three starts.
Rangers Heating Up
The New York Rangers (7-8-3) are 3-1-0 over their last four games. This has suddenly given the Rangers hopes that they have an opportunity at a playoff spot. They are sixth overall in the division, but with three games coming up against Buffalo and New Jersey, this is an opportunity.
New York is averaging 2.67 goals per game (23rd in the NHL), while allowing 2.61 per contest (7th). During the recent four-game run they have produced 17 total goals. With Panarin out, the team is looking for someone else to step up, and Chris Kreider may be that guy. He scored two goals against Boston on Friday giving him a team-leading nine total. He also added an assist giving him 11 points now. The power play is going to have to improve for this team, however. They are 27th at 15.5% and are seventh in penalty killing it 85.1%.
It could be Alexandar Goergiev back in net on Sunday. He stopped 31 of 33 shots in the victory over the Bruins, moving him to 3-2-2 with a 2.81 GAA and a .901 save percentage. Since giving up five goals on January 30, he has allowed just seven over his last three appearances.
- 1-4 in the last five games overall
- 1-4 in their last five games as the favorite.
- 4-1 in their last five games against opponents who had given up five or more goals in their previous contest.
Is Boston the better team overall? Yes, but they are sure not playing like it. This is a team struggling to score goals and their goaltenders are having difficulty keeping pucks out of the net. That is a bad combination.
Adding to the woes of the Bruins is that they face a Rangers team that is playing red-hot right now. This looks like the kind of contest at the Rangers win helping continue a serious playoff run. It is getting late in the season and they need to start making a move. Sunday helps to keep them going.
Pick: Take New York Rangers at +150
These teams have gone over in seven of the last 10 meetings in New York. That included the eight goals scored on Friday. Boston has gone over in four their last five games. The trends alone say this game is heading towards the over.
But I dig deeper. The Bruins have gone over 5.5 in each of their last three games and New York has done so in each of their last two. The over is the way to go.
Pick: Go over 5.5 goals at -115