Two of the best teams in the Eastern Conference are going to meet on the NHL betting odds on Tuesday night in the Steel City, where the Pittsburgh Penguins will take on the Boston Bruins.
The B’s aren’t the Northeast Division leaders at this point, but it almost seems like a foregone conclusion that they will be when push comes to shove. They are a point back of the Montreal Canadiens going into this week, but they have three games in hand as well. That’s not a knock on the Habs by any stretch of the imagination, as they have 17 wins in their 26 games. Boston though, has 17 wins in just 23 games, and the argument could be made, outside of the Chicago Blackhawks, it has played the best hockey in the league this year. The key is well-rounded offense and great play from G Tuukka Rask. Rask already has 13 wins on the season, and his GAA is still below 2.00. The offense doesn’t have a man that has more than 21 points on it, but the end result is still 3.0 goals per game, making this one of the Top 10 offenses in the league this year.
If you want offense though, you’ve come to the right place with the Penguins. Pittsburgh has been absolutely out of its mind over the course of the last few games, scoring at will against any and all challengers. The 6-1 win over the New York Islanders on Sunday felt sort of like protocol. The team is averaging 3.7 goals per game, and the statistics are getting more and more insane as time wears on. Boston doesn’t have a single player on its team that has more than 21 points, something that there is no shame in halfway through the season. The Pens though, have five players with at least 24 points, including the now-injured C Evgeni Malkin, who has already sat out five games and is going to miss another 4-5 at least as well. C Sidney Crosby already has 45 points on the season, and LW Chris Kunitz has 17 goals, 19 assists, and a simply stupidly good +21 +/-.
For as well as Rask has played this year, we just don’t see how the Penguins are slowing down. It would be a shock to see them not score at least three or four goals in this game, even without Malkin. The Bruins aren’t going to give up though, and they might be able to get on the stat sheet as well time and time again. That’s the only way we see the Penguins getting challenged at this point. A 4-3 final score either way seems to be about right, and as a result, we’ll take the ‘over’.
Boston Bruins @ Pittsburgh Penguins Pick: Over 5.5