Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Boston Bruins Matchup Preview

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Two squads that’ve positioned themselves squarely in playoff contention, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Boston Bruins face off at TD Garden for an Eastern Conference tilt. NBC Sports Network will showcase the action, which gets underway at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 1.

Pittsburgh Penguins at Boston Bruins Odds

With a -135 moneyline, Boston enters the contest as the favorite. The line for Pittsburgh sits at +115, and the Over/Under (O/U) has been set at an even 6 goals. The odds for betting the total stand at -120 for the under and +100 for the over.

The Bruins are 38-23 straight up (SU) and have earned moneyline bettors 4.6 units this season. That winning percentage, ranked fourth in the league so far this season, is an improvement compared to what the team managed during the 2016-17 season (44-38). Of its 61 regular season matches, 32 have gone under the total, while 28 have gone over and just one has pushed. The team’s 20-11 SU at home this season.

Boston has converted on 19.6 percent of its power play chances this season, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 11th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 82.3 percent of all penalties.

As a collective unit, Boston has been penalized 3.8 times per game overall this season, and 2.8 per game over its last five home outings. The team has been forced to kill penalties for just 7.4 minutes per game over its last five outings, overall.

With a .921 save percentage and 25.2 saves per game, Tuukka Rask (25 wins, 16 losses, and four OT losses) has been the primary goalkeeper for the Bruins this season. If head coach Bruce Cassidy decides to rest him, however, the team might go with Anton Khudobin (13-10-10 record, .919 save percentage, 2.41 goals against average).

The Bruins will continue to rely on offensive production from Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak. Marchand (58 points) has tallied 24 goals and 34 assists and has recorded two or more points 18 times this year. Pastrnak has 22 goals and 33 assists to his name and has recorded at least one point in 40 games.

On the other side of the ice, Pittsburgh is 36-28 straight up (SU) and has lost 0.7 units for bettors taking the moneyline this year. A total of 34 of its contests have gone over the total, while 28 have gone under and just two have pushed. As an away team, Pittsburgh is 13-19 SU.

Pittsburgh currently has the second-best power-play unit in the NHL, as it’s scored on 27.0 percent of its extra-man advantages this season. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 10th overall and it’s successfully defended 82.4 percent of all opponent power plays.

Pittsburgh’s players have been penalized 4.0 times per game in total this season, and 3.0 per game over their last ten contests. The team’s been forced to kill penalties just 7.4 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Matt Murray (2.82 goals against average and .909 save percentage) has been the primary option in goal for Pittsburgh. Murray is averaging 25.7 saves per game and owns a 25-16-2 record.

Evgeni Malkin (36 goals, 40 assists) will pace the attack for the visiting Penguins.

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Boston Bruins Free Picks

Pick: SU Winner – Penguins, O/U – Under

Betting Trends

  • Boston is 3-2 in games decided by a shootout this season while Pittsburgh is 2-2 in shootouts.
  • The total has gone under in three of Boston’s last five outings.
  • Pittsburgh’s attempted 34.3 shots per contest overall this season (the second-most in the NHL), and 34.1 in its last 10 outings.
  • Over Pittsburgh’s last ten games, six of them have been decided by two or more goals (the team is 6-0 in those games).
  • This game features two of the tougher defenses in the league. Pittsburgh skaters have accounted for the league’s sixth-most hits per game (24.2) while the Bruins have tallied the eighth-most (23.8).