Saturday 7 PM ET
Free NHL Pick: Under
Best Line Offered: BetOnline
The Rangers and Bruins will play one more game Saturday in Boston before they both head home for their winter and All-Star breaks that won’t see either team play again until January 29. Following his team’s 5-2 win over the Blues Thursday, Bruins captain Zdeno Chara was asked how much he felt the break would help he and his teammates “refresh” and how much he was “looking forward to it.”
“We’re not even thinking about that right now because we have a good team coming in here Saturday night that we have to show up for and play a 60-minute effort against,” Chara said.
While you have to take the workaholic Chara at face value there, these players are human and of course, visions of warm, sunny beaches and adult beverages by their side are shining brightly on their minds or they’re looking forward to some quality family time they hardly get during the season.
The Bruins are entangled in a tight playoff race right now so they will want those valuable two points before the break, but both teams will be distracted still and that’s why the goalies will play a huge role. That’s why you should bet the under in this one. The Bruins likely get the win here but with such an ugly money and puck line, it’s not really worth the chance they don’t.
Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask is 6-0-1 in his last seven starts and on Thursday he tied Tiny Thompson for the most wins (251) in franchise history. Rask appears to have regained his elite form and whether it’s him or one of the best backups in the NHL, Jaro Halak between the pipes for the B’s, goals will be hard to come by for the Rangers.
In a rebuilding season that likely is about to give the Rangers a reality slap after a surprisingly solid first half of the season, veteran goalie and hall of famer Henrik Lundqvist has still been ‘The King’ between the pipes! Lundqvist has kept his team in almost every game he’s started and his enthusiasm for the game has spread to the players in front of him as new coach David Quinn tries to get the Rangers youth to buy in. You can expect the same effor from the Swedish netminder Saturday as he helps compensate for what will likely be a team ready to set sail into the break.
The Bruins are 27-21 against the spread and 17-7 at home. Boston has scored 141 goals and allowed 125. They’re 17-27-4 on the over/under and 10-11-3 at home. The Bruins are 23-25 on the puck line and 13-11 at home. Pastrnak leads the team in goals with 27 lamplighters and points with 55. Marchand leads the team in assists with 34 helpers.
The Rangers are 20-27 against the spread and 7-16 on the road. New York has scored 136 goals and allowed 162. They’re 25-21-1 on the over/under and 13-9-1 on the road. The Blueshirts are 26-21 on the puck line and 10-13 on the road. Mika Zbinijad leads the Rangers in assists with 27 helpers and points with 42. Chris Kreider leads the team in goals with 22 lamplighters.
For the Rangers, Lundqvist is 14-12-0-7 with a 3.04 GAA and .908 save percentage. On Friday, the Rangers reassigned goalie Alexander Georgiev to Hartford (AHL) and recalled goalie Marek Mazenec.
For the Bruins, Halak is 13-8-0-2 with a 2.46 GAA and .920 save percentage and Rask is now 14-8-0-3 with a 2.42 GAA and .920 save percentage.
For the Rangers, defenseman Neal Pionk (lower-body), defenseman Fredrik Claesson (shoulder) and forward Kevin Hayes (upper-body injury) are all day-to-day.
For the Bruins, forward Joakim Nordstrom is out indefinitely with a broken fibula.