Chicago Blackhawks at Boston Bruins Free Preview

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

Two clubs that split their season series (one game apiece) last year, the Chicago Blackhawks and the Boston Bruins face off at TD Garden in an Original Six showdown. The puck drops at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 10, and fans at home can watch the game live on NBC Sports Chicago.

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Boston Bruins Odds

Boston is 42-23 straight up (SU) and has earned 8.6 units for moneyline bettors this year. That winning percentage, ranked third in the league in this young season, is an improvement over the 44-38 record from the 2016-17 season campaign. Of the teams 65 games this season, 30 have gone under the total, while 30 have gone over and just one has pushed. The team is 24-11 SU at home this season.

The Bruins have converted on 20.8 percent of their power play chances this season, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, their penalty kill is ranked seventh overall, and they’ve successfully killed off 82.9 percent of all penalties.

The Bruins, as a collective unit, have been penalized 3.9 times per game overall this season, and 4.8 per game over their last five home outings. The teams had to kill penalties for 11.6 minutes per game over their last five home outings.

Sporting a .920 save percentage and 25.3 saves per game, Tuukka Rask (27 wins, 16 losses, and four OT losses) has been the best option in goal for Boston this season. If the Bruins decide to give him a breather, however, the team may turn to Anton Khudobin (15-10-10 record, .918 save percentage, 2.45 goals against average).

The Bruins will continue relying on leadership from Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak. Marchand (67 points) is up to 29 goals and 38 assists and has recorded multiple points in 20 different games this year. Pastrnak has 23 goals and 40 assists to his credit and has recorded a point in 42 games.

On the other side of the rink, Chicago is 29-39 straight up (SU) and has lost 14.9 units for moneyline bettors thus far. Through 68 regular season outings, 36 of its games have gone under the total, while 29 have gone over and just three have pushed. As the visiting team, the Blackhawks are 13-21 SU.

The Blackhawks have converted on just 15.6 percent of their power play chances this year, a figure that places them in the bottom- overall among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 15th overall and it’s successfully killed off 81.3 percent of all opponent power plays.

Chicago’s skaters have been penalized only 3.4 times per game in total this season, and 2.1 per game over their last ten match ups. The teams had to defend opponent power plays just 4.8 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Corey Crawford (.929 save percentage and 2.27 goals against average) has been the main option in goal for Chicago. Crawford is averaging 27.9 saves per game and has 16 wins, 12 losses, and two OT losses to his credit.

Patrick Kane (24 goals, 39 assists) has been one of the most vital facilitators on offense for the visiting Blackhawks.

Chicago Blackhawks at Boston Bruins Free Picks

Pick: SU Winner – Bruins, O/U – Over

Betting Notes

  • Boston (3-2 in shootouts) has more experience this season in games decided by shootout. Chicago has only participated in two shootouts this year, winning one and losing the other.
  • Chicago has managed 32.6 shot attempts per game over its last five road games while Boston has been attempting 36.8 shots per game over its last five at home.
  • Boston has averaged 3.4 goals per game overall this year, but has raised it up to 4.6 per contest in its past five games (the teams a perfect 0-0 SU during that streak).
  • The Bruins this season have tallied the eighth-most hits per game (24.0), but the club has averaged 27.6 over their past five games as the home team.