Saturday evening on the NHL ice and a couple of teams from the Atlantic Division will duke it out as the Boston Bruins take on the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario. The Bruins enter this game off a 4-2 home loss to the Capitals, while the Maple Leafs are off a 4-2 road win over the Devils.
The Strategy Didn’t Work
The Boston Bruins have had their issues with the Capitals over the years and so has Tuukka Rask, who has gone 1-16 in his career against them. On Thursday night, the Bruins were hosting the Caps and they went with Jaroslav Halak instead of Rask and the strategy didn’t pay off. Washington won that game by a score of 4-2 and Halak allowed three goals on 21 shot attempts to fall to 13-9 with a 2.39 GAA on the year. He was also 9-1 at home prior to the game. Rask will be back in the crease for this one and he has gone 12-10 with a 2.43 GAA and a .920 save percentage on the year, including 5-6 with a 2.76 GAA and a .916 save percentage on the road. In his career, he has gone 16-9 with a 2.14 GAA against the Maple Leafs.
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) January 11, 2019
The loss broke a five-game winning streak the Bruins were on, so they will be anxious to get back on the ice and start a new winning streak. Boston is currently in 3rd place in the Atlantic Division and if the playoffs started today, they would have the 6th seed in the East. Scoring in the loss to the Caps was Ryan Donato, which was his 6th of the year and David Krejci, which was his 8th. The Bruins have gone 9-13 on the road and they have averaged 2.23 gpg and have allowed 2.77 gpg in those games. Boston checks in at 3rd in the league in power play conversions at 28.2% and 10th in penalty kill at 81.4%.
Leafs Strike Quick In Win Over The Devils
The Toronto Maple Leafs had been struggling some of late, but they hope that they are back on track after a 4-2 road win over the New Jersey Devils. The Maple Leafs grabbed a 2-0 lead just 7:21 into the game and they had a 3-0 lead after one. The Devils did make a run as they scored twice in the 2nd to make it 3-2. The Leafs scored an empty-netter late in the 3rd for the final goal of the game. Scoring in the win was Connor Brown, which was his 4th of the year, John Tavares, who scored twice and now has 29 on the year and Mitchell Marner, which was his 16th. The Maple Leafs are 2-3 in their last five games, but they are also 28-15 on the year overall and in second place in the Atlantic. Toronto is currently 12 points out of first.
Grabbing the win over the Devils was Michael Hutchinson, who stopped 27 of the 29 shots that he faced to improve to 3-5 with a 3.29 GAA and a .886 save percentage on the year, including 1-3 with a 3.00 GAA and a .904 save percentage in his home games. In his career, he has gone 2-2 with a 2.08 GAA against the Bruins. The Maple Leafs have gone 13-9 here at home for the year and they have averaged 3.27 gpg and have allowed 2.55 gpg in those games. Toronto enters this contest ranked 8th in power play conversions at 22.1%, while also ranking 14th in penalty kill at 80.2%.
- 2-5 in their last 7 vs. a team with a winning record
- The Under is 5-0 in their last 5 vs. a team with a winning record
- 33-12 in their last 45 after scoring 2 goals or less in their previous game
- 6-1 in their last 7 vs. a team with a winning record
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I will look for the Bruins to take this one. Rask has struggled against the Caps in his career, but against the Maple Leafs, he has gone 16-9 with a 2.14 GAA. The Leafs have won just two of their last three games and have scored just 12 goals in those games and we note that Michael Hutchinson has not been that great for the Leafs in the crease so far. Rask has been hot overall as he has allowed just seven goals in his last four starts and he will keep it going with a nice road win in this one.
Prediction: Boston +123
Full-Game Total Pick
I will take the Under in this one. The Leafs’ offense has struggled of late, while the Bruins have averaged just 2.23 gpg on the road. Hutchinson has not been great for the Leafs, but he has a 2.08 GAA against the Bruins in his career and Rask has a 2.14 GAA against Toronto. The Under is 20-5-1 in Boston’s last 26 road games vs. a team with a winning home record and that is the clincher.
Prediction: Under 6