Boston Bruins vs. New York Islanders Matchup

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

The Barclays Center is playing host an Eastern Conference matchup as the Boston Bruins square off against the New York Islanders. The opening face-off takes place at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday, January 2, and it’s being televised live on Sportsnet.

Boston Bruins at New York Islanders Odds

Boston (-120) is currently favored over New York (+100), and the Over/Under (O/U) is set at an even 6 goals (-120 for the under, +100 for the over).

Boston is 21-16 straight up (SU) and has earned moneyline bettors 0.9 units this year. Through 37 regular season contests, 20 of its games have gone under the total, while 17 have gone over and none have pushed. As the away team this season, the Bruins are 8-8 SU.

Boston has converted on 21.1 percent of its power play opportunities this season, a mark that’s good enough for 10th-best in the NHL. On the other hand, it has the fourth-best penalty kill in the league, and it has successfully killed off 84.1 percent of all penalties.

For the team as a whole, the Bruins have been penalized 4.1 times per game during the 2017-18 season, and 3.0 per game over its last five road outings. The team has had to defend opponent power plays just 7.2 minutes per contest over their last five road games.

Sporting a .923 save percentage and 25.0 saves per game, Tuukka Rask (13-12-3) has been the primary option in goal for Boston this season. If Boston chooses to rest him, however, the team might turn to Anton Khudobin (8-6-3), who has a .923 save percentage and 2.48 goals against average this year.

David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand will both lead the way for the visiting Bruins. Pastrnak has 34 points via 15 goals and 19 assists, and has recorded multiple points nine times. Marchand has 15 goals and 17 assists to his credit (and has registered a point in 20 games).

On the other side of the ice, New York is 20-19 straight up (SU) and has lost 0.7 units for moneyline bettors this year. 26 of its matches have gone over the total, while 11 have gone under and just two have pushed. This year, the teams 12-6 SU as the home team.

The Islanders have converted on 21.2 percent of their power play chances this year, a figure that’s good enough for 10th-best in the league. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 31st overall, and it’s successfully killed off 73.9 percent of all penalties.

New York players have been sent to the penalty box only 3.5 times per game in total this season, 3.8 per game over their past five contests total, and 3.0 per game over their last five home outings. The teams had to kill penalties just 6.3 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Jaroslav Halak has denied 27.8 shots per game as the top option in goal for the Islanders. Halak has 11 wins, 13 losses, and two OT losses to his credit and has recorded a subpar .905 save percentage and 3.15 goals against average this season.

Josh Bailey (12 goals, 38 assists) will pace the offensive counter for the Isles.

Boston Bruins at New York Islanders Free Picks

Predictions: SU Winner – Islanders, O/U – Over

Betting Trends

  • Seven of New York’s last ten games have been decided by two or more goals. The team is 2-5 overall in those games.
  • The Islanders are 7-5 SU in games where they serve more penalty minutes than their opponent while the Bruins are 8-4 SU when they spend more time in the box than their opponent.
  • Two of Boston’s last ten games have been decided by a shootout. The team is 1-1 in those games and 2-2 overall in shootouts this season.
  • The total has gone over in three of New York’s last five games.
  • New York has averaged 14.8 giveaways over its last five home games, a rise over its season average of 11.3 giveaways per game (ranked 24th overall).
  • Boston has averaged 6.8 giveaways over its last five home games, an improvement from its season average of 8.9 giveaways per game (the 11th-fewest in the league).
  • Boston skaters have accounted for the seventh-most hits in the league (23.5 per game), but the teams averaged just 20.0 hits over their last five away games.