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The Boston Bruins will remain at the PPG Paints Arena on Tuesday evening to take on the Pittsburgh Penguins in a East Division battle. The Bruins won the first two games they played back in Boston in January. These teams played on Monday night as well so they will be ready for one another here in the second game of a back-to-back. The Boston Bruins (14-7-4, 32 points) are fourth in the East Division and are 1-3 in their last four games. The Pittsburgh Penguins (17-9-1, 35 points) are third in the East Division and are riding a five-game winning streak.
These teams are two very great franchises so it will be interesting to see which team can figure out how to take advantage of a couple of mistakes. Let’s take a deeper dive into the matchup to decide where we should be placing our wagers. PUBLISHED BEFORE FIRST GAME.
Marchand Stepping Up
The Boston Bruins have been average in the early stages of this season and one of the reasons is the play of center Brad Marchand who has been playing extremely well to begin the season. The Bruins have a handful of players listed on the injury report so they will be dealing with a few line switches. Marchand is tied for ninth in the league in points with 31 points (12 goals, 19 assists) this season and has added seven points in his last five games. In the last game against the New York Rangers, he finished without scoring any points on just a single shot attempt in 16:56 on the ice. Marchand has shown the ability to be a leading player and needs to continue to lead this Bruins roster as Pittsburgh is a decent defense so it will be interesting to see how Marchand can attack it.
Tukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak have both spent a good chunk of time in the net this season for the Bruins and have been playing incredibly as a goalie unit. Rask has played in more games but Halak got the start in the last game. Halak is 6-3-2 this season with 2.07 goals against per game and a 92.2% save rate in the NHL. In his last game against the New York Rangers, he allowed four goals on 33 shots. On the season, he allowed 23 goals on 294 shots. Boston, as a team, has allowed 60 goals this season, which is second in the league. They have been great at killing power plays as they have allowed nine power-play goals in 85 opportunities (89.41 kill percentage). Pittsburgh is a top-10 scoring team in the NHL so this will be a chance for the Bruins to test the waters against one of the better offenses in the league.
Crosby Leads the Way
The Pittsburgh Penguins have been playing well in the early stages of this season and one reason has been the play of center Sidney Crosby, who has been playing extremely well to begin the season. The team is going to need to figure out how to deal with a handful of players listed on the injury report. Crosby has the team-lead in points, goals, and assists as he has 26 points (10 goals, 16 assists) this season and has recorded seven points in his last five games. In his last game against the Buffalo Sabres, he finished with a goal while attempting just two shots in 19:04 on the ice. Crosby has shown the ability to step up and it’ll be time to see if the Penguins can continue to step up on the offensive side of the puck.
SIX STRAIGHT WINS! pic.twitter.com/1uKwTMRjxC
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) March 16, 2021
Tristan Jarry has spent the majority of time in the net this season for the Pittsburgh Penguins and has been playing decently well this season, but backup Casey DeSmith was in the net for the last game. In the last game against the Buffalo Sabres, he did not allow a goal on 24 shots in a win to bring his record to 6-2-0 so far this season. On the season, he allowed 20 goals in 226 shots. Pittsburgh has allowed 79 goals this season, which is 14th in the league. They have been below average against opposing power plays as they have killed 60-of-80 (75 percent) of them so far this season. The Bruins are a below-average offense in the league so this will be a chance for the Penguins to climb the standings in the East Division.
- Pittsburgh: 5-0 in their last five games
- Pittsburgh: 5-1 in their last six games vs a team with a winning record
- Boston: 1-4 in their last five road games
- Boston: 0-5 in their last five games in the second half of a back-to-back
The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The offenses are on two different levels and that will be the difference maker in this game. The Bruins are 21st in the league with 2.72 goals per game while the Penguins are tied for 11th in the league scoring 3.19 goals per game. A big reason is Boston is not getting up a lot of shots compared to Pittsburgh as Boston is 30th in the NHL with 26.6 shots per game while Pittsburgh is 21st in the NHL with 29 shots per game. The Pittsburgh Penguins have a distinct home-ice advantage with their 11-2-0 home record so go with them to increase this even more.
Want another opinion on this pick?
Full-Game Total Pick
These teams are giving up a decent amount of goals and will be tired after they played 24 hours prior. Looking at the last handful of games can tell us where we should be leaning in this matchup. The Bruins are averaging 5.3 total goals per game in their last 10 while the Penguins are averaging 5.8 total goals per game in their last five. The over hit in four of the last five Bruins games in the second half of a back-to-back while the Penguins had the over hit in the last four games against teams with a winning record. All in all, go with the OVER here.