Halak Stays Hot As Bruins Upset Preds In Low-Scoring Affair

Jimmy Murphy

Friday, November 2, 2018 7:27 PM UTC

Friday, Nov. 2, 2018 7:27 PM UTC

 

After a huge win on the road against the Lightning, the Predators are primed for a letdown at home and the Bruins will catch them sleeping in a low-scoring game.

Murphy: 22-18-2

Boston (7-3-2, 7-5 ATS) vs Nashville (10-3-0, 10-3 ATS)

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Saturday 8 PM ETFree NHL Picks: Bruins ML; UnderBest Line Offered: at BetOnline

In a potential Stanley Cup Final preview, the Nashville Predators went into Tampa Bay and made a statement against the Lightning, winning 4-1 and letting everyone know why through the first month of this NHL season, they are the best team in the league. So with that said, why would anyone pick against them in a home game against a Boston Bruins team that is riddled with injuries on their blue line? Two reasons: Jaroslav Halak and the potential for a letdown after a statement win like that.

At 10-3-0 and a league-leading 20 points, Nashville is clearly the team to beat right now and poised to finish what they started two seasons ago when they went on a run to Game 6 of the 2017 Stanley Cup Final and lost to the then defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins. The Preds are 10-3 against the spread and 4-3 at home. They have the best goal differential (+16) scoring 46 goals and allowing only 30. They’re 6-6-1 on the over/under and 3-3-1 at home. Nashville is also 7-6 on the puck line and 4-3 at home. They’ve been dominant as favorites as well, going 9-3. So why the heck would I be telling you to take the Bruins, a team that has a depleted blue line against a team that even their own head coach this week said had the best top 4 D in the NHL?

“They’re so good; just great in every aspect of the game,” Bruce Cassidy said of Mattias Ekholm, Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis and P.K. Subban on Thursday.

Well, simply put, they’re about to get Halaked! Jaro Halak has seemingly seized the No. 1 goalie spot in Boston, going 4-0-0-2 with a 1.52 GAA and .947 save percentage in his first 6 starts as a Bruin. Cassidy announced that Halak will get the start in Nashville Saturday night and to this humble puck scribe, that combined with the Preds coming off such a huge win, is the perfect recipe for the Bruins to come in and steal one on the road.

The Bruins won their last game behind a 42-save performance from Halak and come into this one as +130 dogs. They’re 1-0 as underdogs this season, 7-5 against the spread and 3-4 on the road. Boston has scored 37 goals and allowed 29. They’re 4-8-0 on the over/under and 2-5-0 on the road. The B’s are 7-5 on the puck line and 3-4 on the road.

The Bruins have rode their top line of Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-David Pastrnak this season, and that trio comes into this game as arguably the best line in the NHL. Bergeron leads the team in points with 19 and assists with 12 helpers. Pastrnak leads the team in scoring with 11 lamplighters and has 16 points. Marchand, who had two goals in the win over Carolina, has 16 points.

Ryan Johansen leads the Predators in points with 15 and assists with 13 helpers. He has 7 points in his last 5 games. Filip Forsberg leads the team in goals with 10 and has 14 points. Subban leads that vaunted blue line with 2 goals and 8 assists.

Goaltending Match-Up

As mentioned above, the en fuego Halak will get the start between the pipes.

Tuukka Rask is 3-3-0 with a 3.15 GAA and .902 save percentage.

For the Preds, Pekka Rinne is 6-4-1 with a 1.91 GAA and .940 save percentage. He could get his first start since returning from injury Thursday.

Jusse Saros is 6-2-0 with a 2.49 GAA and .917 save percentage.

M*A*S*H Report

The Bruins are missing four defensemen. Charlie McAvoy (upper-body injury) is on injured reserve; Matt Grzelcyk is day-to-day with a lower-body injury; Kevan Miller is on injured reserve with a broken hand and Urho Vaakanainen is day-to-day with a concussion.

For the Predators, defenseman Dan Hamhuis (undisclosed) is day-to-day.

Forward Viktor Arvidsson is day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

Prediction: Bruins 3 Predators 1
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