Bruins vs. Stars Free NHL Picks: Boston Will Win Tonight

Dana Lane

Saturday, February 20, 2016 7:36 PM UTC

Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016 7:36 PM UTC

The Boston Bruins (31-21-6 68 pts, ranked 9th) travel to Dallas to face the Stars (37-16-6 80 pts, ranked 3rd) who are one point out of the lead in the Central. Check our free NHL pick inside.

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NHL Pick: Bruins +130
Best Line Offered: at Bet365


Bruins vs. Stars
The Bruins are on a six game road trip that saw them score 15 goals in their first three games, winning two of three. Since, the Bruins have only scored two goals over their last two games. They were shutout by Pekka Rinne and the Nashville Predators 2-0, Thursday. It seemed as if they were more focused on their match-up with the Stars.  The Bruins never played with urgency, especially in the first period then they gave up two goals in 15 minutes. I can say I haven't seen a Claude Julien team not ready to play too often and certainly not two in a row.  

From the 2nd period on I thought Boston had many scoring chances but there were too many shots from the point and not enough quality chances down below. 

Boston has to get better in the power play, especially against Dallas where they need to take advantage of every offensive opportunity. The Bruins are only 3-51 on the power play over their last 16 games. Torey Krug mentioned that perhaps the Bruins should get a little dirtier around the net. That's the Bruins talk I like to hear.

Dallas was having their own issues of matching intensity as they dropped a 6-3 decision to the Arizona Coyotes, Thursday. Shocking to see the Coyotes with the speed advantage throughout the game. I normally can give teams a pass when they have a bad night, on the road, against a bad team but this was on the heels of their loss to the Blues on Tuesday. To make matters worse, they needed the game to move into first place.  So let's not be too quick and jump on the Stars in this one until we see consistency again. 

Interesting development at Friday's practice. Forward Ales Hemsky skated on the first line with Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn.  Dallas is trying to find a better fit than Patrick Sharp who has 2 ponts in his last nine games. I completley agree with the move except it always takes a game or two for a line to gel and get used to each others speed. 

I've stated many times that I don't love Annti Niemi in goal. I think he's a product of being on a great offensive team. Since the All Star break Niemi has allowed 5 goals in 41 shots with a 3.64 goals against average.  We haven't seen anything official but it wouldn't surprise be if Lindy Ruff starts Kari Lehtonen instead of Niemi. Check morning skate to confirm. 

The Bruins who are one of leagues best road teams at 19-7-3, will have Tuuka Rask between the pipes. Rask owns a 2.06 goals against average on the road and has allowed on three goals in the Bruins last two games.

Some fun trends to consider. The Bruins are 42-15 on Saturdays which seems silly to seriously consider but it's over 73% winners over 57 games.  By the way, Dallas has lost six of their last seven Saturday games. We're backing Boston with our NHL picks in this one, where they are favorites in the NHL odds boards.

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