Boston Bruins (38-27-4-2 SU, 34-37 PL, 35-29-7 O/U) vs Toronto Maple Leafs (32-23-7-8 SU, 39-31 PL, 31-38-1 O/U)
When: 7:30 PM ET, Monday, March 20, 2017
Where: Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario
Lines: Boston -121/ Toronto +110
NHL Hockey action on Monday evening and the Boston Bruins will duke it out with the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario. The Bruins come in off a 7-4 loss at Edmonton, but they have still won four of their last five games, while the Leafs are off a 2-1 home loss at the hands of the Blackhawks but still, they have won four of their last six games. The road team is 4-1 the last five in the series, but the Leafs have won four of their last five against Boston.
Bruins Take A Bad Loss At Edmonton
The Boston Bruins have been playing very well since Bruce Cassidy took over as interim, but they do come in off a rather bad loss to Edmonton on the road. They fell in that game by a score of 7-4 and that broke a four-game win streak that they were on. The seven goals that they allowed to the Oilers, were the same amount of goals that they allowed combined in their four-game win streak. Rask just had an off game. The Bruins are in 3rd place in the Atlantic Division and they are just four points out of 2nd place in the division. Scoring in the loss was David Pastrnak, which was his 5th in his last five games and 31st of the year, Brad Marchand, which was his 11th in his last 10 games and 37th of the year, Dominic Moore, which was his 10th of the year and David Krejci, which was his 20th of the year. The Bruins are now 19-19 out on the road for the year.
Taking the loss against the Oilers was Tuukka Rask, who allowed the first seven goals, before being pulled in favor of Anton Khudobin. Rask is now 33-21 with a 2.32 GAA on the year, including 17-13 with a 2.42 GAA on the road, while against the Maple Leafs in his career he has gone 15-6 with a 2.07 GAA. Boston enters this contest ranked 12th in the league in scoring at 2.86 gpg, while also ranking 2nd in shots taken (33.8 spg) and 9th 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.
Tough Loss To The Blackhawks For The Leafs
The Toronto Maple Leafs continue to hold on to the 8th slot in the Eastern Conference playoff standings, but their lead is just one point over the Islanders and two points over the Lightning. They still have a lot of work to do if they hope to get to the postseason a year after posting the fewest points in the league. The Leafs come in off a 2-1 home loss to the Blackhawks in OT, but still they have won four of their last six games. The Leafs did grab a 1-0 lead in the game on a goal by Auston Matthews, which was his team-leading 32nd of the year. Chicago then tied the game in the 2nd period and eventually won the game with just 17 seconds left in the OT period. That was a very tough loss for them, especially since it could have given them a little breathing room in the playoff standings. Toronto is now 17-17 here at home.
Taking the loss against the Blackhawks was Frederik Andersen and he has now gone 28-29 with a 2.67 GAA on the year, including 16-16 with a 2.58 GAA here at home, while against the Bruins in his career he has gone a perfect 7-0 with a 1.85 GAA. Toronto checks in at 6th in the league in scoring at 3.01 gpg, while also ranking 4th in shots taken (32.3 spg) and 2nd in power play conversions, converting on 23.1% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice they have been poor as they rank 21st in goals allowed, giving up 2.86 gpg, while also ranking 28th in shots allowed (32.8) and 9th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 16.7% of their chances.
- 8-2 in their last 10 when their opponent allows two goals or less in their previous game
- 7-0 in their last seven vs. a team with a losing record
- 25-64 in their last 89 vs. a team with a winning record
- 4-14 in their last 18 when their opponent allows five goals or more in their previous game
The Leafs are trying to hold onto to their playoff spot in the East, while the Bruins will be looking to bounce back from a rough outing in Edmonton. I feel that the Bruins will bounce back here, even though Frederik Andersen is 7-0 lifetime vs them. All good things must come to an end and that will happen here. Tuukka Rask is off a horrible showing in the loss to the Oilers and I look for him to be a bit pissed in this one. The Boston offense has been very good of late as they have averaged 3.90 gpg over their last 10 games, while the Leafs have averaged just 2.5 gpg over the same stretch. Take the Bruins in this one.