On a 5 game losing streak, the Bruins have fallen apart and have worked their way out of the playoffs. Tonight they face a top division Ducks team, but can Bruins break the streak?
Face-off is set for 7:00 pm ET tonight at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. Despite their losing streak, NHL odds makers list the Bruins as a healthy -130 and the total for the game is listed at 5 goals. Boston is a defensive-oriented team that won't score a ton of goals and is much better than their record indicates, but they could be a great fade here as they're collapsing at an inopportune time.
Will Rask Be the Man?
We have confirmation that Tuukka Rask is "likely" to be the man between the pipes for the Bruins to stop this losing streak and he'll be opposed by Jonathan Gibson for the Ducks.
Rask is a lot better than his 29-19-11 record indicates, but Boston isn't a team that scores a lot of goals. Their leading scorer is Patrice Bergeron, who is just above the 50 point mark. Rask can definitely hold his own in goal and is considered one of the better goalies in the league. That said, he has lost his last 4 decisions and had to be pulled in his last game. This is a statement game for Tuukka Rask. Is he up to the challenge on an offensively-challenged hockey team is the question?
As for Gibson, he's been nothing to write home about. He's lost his last 2 decisions, allowing 8 goals and is 12-7 on the season with a 2.65 GAA. This game is really up for grabs and a perfect spot for Boston to break their losing streak.
Perry has the ability to be a game changer and the Boston defense will need to pay particular attention to him. In his last 3 games, he has 3 goals and 1 assist. For the season, he has 30 goals and 21 assists in just 60 games. Perry is known for being aggressive on the offensive end and has no problem with mixing it up.
A player that isn't talked about a lot because of his 9 assists, is goal scorer, Matt Beleskey. Beleskey is one of the best goal scorers on the Ducks with 22 goals in 61 games. He's also coming off of a goal in the loss to Columbus. In the previous meeting against Boston, Beleskey also scored a goal. This is a player that may fly under the radar and can be a difference maker.
Boston will look to ride the coat tails of leading scorer, Patrice Bergeron. Bergeron leads the Bruins with 51 points and 208 shots on goal. He's played particularly well in his last 3 games, potting 2 goals and adding an assist. The Bruins will also be counting on leading goal scorer, Brad Marchand. Marchand lit the lamp the last time that he faced the Ducks and is a threat at all times.
This is definitely a defining game for a team that's on a losing streak, not a huge goal scoring team, and is facing a goalie that can be scored upon in Jonathan Gibson. I like Boston as my NHL pick to squeeze by the Ducks in this game to end their losing streak.
NHL Pick- Bruins -130 at 5Dimes