Two of the league’s best at scoring on the power play, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Boston Bruins face off at TD Garden. New England Sports Network will air this Eastern Conference matchup, which gets going at 7:30 p.m. ET on Friday, November 23.
Pittsburgh Penguins at Boston Bruins Odds
Boston heads into the matchup as the narrow favorite with a moneyline of -115. The line for Pittsburgh is standing at -105 and oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at an even 6 goals. The odds for betting the total sit at -110 for the over and -110 on the under.
The Bruins are 11-10 straight-up (SU) and have punished moneyline bettors to the tune of -2.5 units so far. That early-season winning percentage is a regression from the 50-32 record that the team posted during the 2017-18 season campaign. Among the team’s 21 games this season, six have gone under the total, while six have gone over and just one has pushed. This year, the team’s 7-2 SU at home.
Boston’s converted on 29.4 percent of its power play chances this season, a figure that places them in the top-5 among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 17th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 79.1 percent of all penalties.
Boston, as a collective unit, has been penalized 4.6 times per game overall this season, 4.4 per game over its past five games total, and 4.0 per game over its last five home outings. The team has been forced to kill penalties for 10.2 minutes per contest over its last five home games.
Averaging 27.8 saves per game with a .935 save percentage, Jaroslav Halak (seven wins, six losses, and two OT losses) has been the top option in goal for the Bruins this season. If they decide to give him a breather, however, head coach Bruce Cassidy may turn to Tuukka Rask (4-6-6 record, .909 save percentage, 2.80 goals against average).
Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak will both spearhead the attack for the Bruins. Bergeron (26 points) has tallied nine goals and 17 assists and has recorded multiple points in eight different games this year. Pastrnak has 17 goals and eight assists to his credit and has recorded a point in 12 contests.
Pittsburgh has lost 12.2 units for bettors taking the moneyline this year and is currently 8-12 straight up (SU). Through 20 regular season outings, eight of its games have gone over the total, while an additional eight have gone under the total and four have pushed. Pittsburgh’s 4-5 SU as the road team this season.
Pittsburgh has converted on 24.6 percent of its power play chances this year, a figure that’s good enough for sixth-best in the NHL. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 10th overall and it’s successfully defended 81.5 percent of all penalties.
Pittsburgh’s skaters have been penalized 3.7 times per game in total this season, 4.2 per game over their last five games total, and 3.8 per game over their last five on the road. The team has been forced to defend opponent power plays 9.6 minutes per contest over their last five road games.
Casey DeSmith (.924 save percentage and 2.39 goals against average) has been the main option in goal for Pittsburgh. DeSmith is averaging 23.5 saves per game and owns a 4-9-3 record.
For the visiting Penguins, the offense will run through Evgeni Malkin (eight goals, 20 assists) and Phil Kessel (10 goals, 15 assists).
Pittsburgh Penguins at Boston Bruins Free Picks
Prediction: SU Winner – Bruins, O/U – Over
- The total has gone under in four of Boston’s last five outings.
- After averaging 33.7 shot attempts as a team last season (the fourth-most in the league), Pittsburgh’s attempted 32.9 shots per contest overall this season, and 34.8 in its last five road outings.
- The Bruins are 4-4 SU when they serve more penalty minutes than their opponent while the Penguins are 4-5 SU in games where they spend more time in the box than their opponent.
- Boston is ranked 8th this season with 8.9 takeaways per game. That figure has trended down recently, however, as the team has forced 8.3 takeaways over its last 10 games and 6.4 takeaways over its last five.
- Pittsburgh skaters have created 7.2 takeaways per game over its last five road games, a drop-off from its season average of 8.4 takeaways per game (ranked 11th).