Jimmy’s NHL picks record: 55-67-3
Monday 7:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Free NHL Pick: ‘Under’
Best Line Offered: Bovada
Since the calendar turned to 2019, there has been a playoff feel to plenty of games across the NHL. The standings are tight in both conferences and all four divisions and maybe none more tighter than the Atlantic Division. After the first-place Lightning, only 6 points separate the second-place Maple Leafs and fifth-place Sabres. In between those two clubs are the third-place Bruins and fourth-place Canadiens, and those two bitter rivals will battle it out Monday night in Boston in their final regular-season meeting of 2018-19.
All three games between the Habs and Bruins this season have stayed “under” the total on the NHL odds board, with the Canadiens winning the first game at Boston 3-0 and the Bruins then winning the next two in Montreal, 3-2 and 4-0. With Carey Price, fresh off his third shutout of the season, in a 3-0 win over Colorado on Saturday, and either Tuukka Rask and Jaro Halak between the pipes for the Bruins, the feel here is that we’ll get a stingy, playoff-like game and an “under” sweep for the season series between Montreal and Boston.
With the Bruins holding a 3-point lead over the Canadiens for the third-place slot in the standings, you can expect both teams to be aggressive as they try to gain the valuable two points, but you can also expect them to stay within their respective systems and not play risky or irresponsible. The Habs will try to utilize their edge in speed and the Bruins will try to implement their size advantage through their vicious forecheck that dominated the Canadiens in their last game, a 4-0 win at Montreal. Factor in that Price has two shutouts in his last five starts and has allowed only three goals during that span, and that Rask, the likely starter for Boston, has won five straight games, it’s going to be hard to light the lamp in this one!
The Bruins are 26-19 against the spread and 16-6 at home. Boston has scored 131 goals and allowed 116. They’re 15-26-4 on the over/under and 9-10-3 at home. The Bruins are 22-23 on the puck line and 12-10 at home. David Pastrnak leads the team in goals with 26 and points with 53. Brad Marchand leads the team in assists with 31.
The Canadiens are 24-22 against the spread and 12-11 on the road. Montreal has scored 138 goals and allowed 139. They’re 21-24-1 on the over/under and 11-11-1 on the road. The Habs are 29-17 on the puck line and 16-7 on the road. Max Domi and Tomas Tatar are tied for the team lead in goals with 14 each. Domi leads the team in assists with 25 and in points with 39.
For the Canadiens, Price is 17-13-0-4 with a 2.67 GAA and .910 save percentage. Antti Niemi is 7-4-0-1 with a 3.84 GAA and .886 save percentage.
For the Bruins, Halak is 13-7-0-2 with a 2.39 GAA and .924 save percentage. Rask is 13-8-0-2 with a 2.41 GAA and .924 save percentage.
For the Canadiens, forward Andrew Shaw remains out with a concussion and is day-to-day.
For the Bruins, forward Joakim Nordstrom is out indefinitely with a broken fibula.