#8 Boston Bruinsvs.#7 Ottawa Senators
Tuesday, March 3 2017, at 7:05pm EDT
Written by David Hess
Ottawa Senators (39-24-6-2 SU, 39-32 PL, 28-40-3 O/U) vs Boston Bruins (38-27-2-4 SU, 34-37 PL, 35-29-7 O/U)
When: 7:00 PM ET, Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Where: TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts
Tuesday evening NHL hockey action and the Ottawa Senators will rumble with the Boston Bruins at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Sens come in off a 4-1 road loss at the hands of the Canadiens and they have now lost their last four games in a row, while the Bruins have a road game in Toronto on Monday night and they will be looking to bounce back from a rough 7-4 loss at Edmonton in that game. The Over is 5-0-4 the last nine meetings here in Boston.
The Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators hooked up in a home-and-home series over the weekend and it was not a very pleasant set for the Sens as they lost both games. Game one was at home and they fell 4-3 in a shootout and then in game two at Montreal, they fell 4-1. The sens went into that series just one point out of first in the division and they had hopes of coming out of the set having taken over the top spot in the division, but after losing both, they are now four points out. They still have a four-point lead over Boston for 2nd place, so they really want to win this game to give themselves a little more breathing room. Scoring their lone goal in the 2nd games against the Habs was Tom Pyatt, which was his 7th of the year. Despite losing in Montreal, the Sens are still a solid 20-13 away from home for the year, but overall they have lost their last four games in a row.
Taking the loss against the Canadiens in game two was Craig Anderson, who has now gone 21-11 with a 2.30 GAA on the year, including 10-4 with a 2.23 GAA on the road, while against the Bruins in his career he has gone 10-11 with a 3.12 GAA. The Senators check in at 19th in the league in scoring at 2.59 gpg, while also ranking 17th in shots taken (30.1 spg) and 21st in power play conversions, converting on 17.6% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice they have been solid as they come in ranked 10th in goals allowed, giving up 2.58 gpg, while also ranking 16th in shots allowed (30.4) and 12th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 18.1% of their chances.
The Boston Bruins have gone 14-4 since naming Bruce Cassidy as interim coach and while they may be out of reach for first place in the Atlantic Division, they have a shot at grabbing 2nd place and a win in this game will help them out greatly. As of this writing, the Bruins are eight points behind the Canadiens for first pace, but they are just two points out of 2nd and taking 2nd in the division is the difference between the 4th and 5th seed in the Eastern Conference. Should they win this game, then they will be just two points behind the Senators. It will not be that easy as Boston is off a road trip and they are playing on no rest in this game against an Ottawa team that has played well on the road this year. The Bruins have been led this year by Brad Marchand, who is 2nd in the league in scoring with 37 goals.
Expected to get the start in this one will be Anton Khudobin, who has gone 5-6 with a 2.73 GAA on the year, including 3-4 with a 2.82 GAA here at home, while against the Sens in his career he has gone 5-1 with a 1.81 GAA. Boston enters this contest ranked 11th in the league in scoring at 2.86 gpg, while also ranking 2nd in shots taken (33.8 spg) and 10th in power play conversions, converting on 20.8% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice they have been solid so far, ranking 12th in goals allowed, giving up 2.62 gpg, while also ranking 2nd in shots allowed (26.6) and 2nd in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 14.6% of their chances.
The Bruins are 12-4 in their last 16 games, while the Sens have lost their last four games in a row. Boston should be the play then. Not so fast my friend as I smell a trap for Boston in this one. The Sens have not been playing well of late, but still they are 20-13 on the road this year and they will catch a Bruins team that is off a four-game north of the border trip and they are playing this one on no rest. This is a bad spot for Boston and I will look for a very determined Ottawa team to take advantage of that with a nice road upset here.
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