NHL Pick: Can Bruins Defeat the Odds & Upset Lightning for a Playoffs Spot?

David Lawrence

Saturday, April 11, 2015 3:15 PM GMT

Bruins have been struggling all season & a recent nosedive might cost them a playoff berth, however they still have a chance but will need to find a way to win as a dog on the NHL odds over Tampa Bay.

The Boston Bruins Can Win Because…
This is do or die time. Yes, they need some help but if they don’t get the job done themselves, getting any type of help won’t matter. As it stands entering Saturday, the Bruins are a point behind the Pittsburgh Penguins and two points back of the Ottawa Senators. Boston is also a big road dog on the NHL betting odds for this matchup

While the Bruins aren’t playing great right now, neither are the Lightning. Tampa Bay has won two straight but they are just 3-4 in their last seven games. Beyond that, Boston owns this series as they’ve won 10 of the last 11 meetings between the teams. They know how to play Tampa Bay and get under their skin. If you recall, the last encounter saw Steven Stampkos, one of the NHL’s best scorers, get so agitated that he dropped the gloves and fought.

The loss to Tampa Bay wasn’t a coincidence as David Krejci missed that game. The Bruins have actually won nine straight meetings between the teams with him in the lineup. He’s expected to play Saturday, so that’s good news for them.

NHL Picks of the Day: Best Totals Play for Saturday's Ice Action

The Tampa Bay Lightning Can Win Because…
They have something to play for too. The Lightning can claim the Atlantic Division if they win and the Montreal Canadiens lose. That’s important because that could give them the second seed in the conference. The Lightning are the league’s best home team but they’re weak on the road. That means that second place is very important to them – especially if they have to face the Canadiens at some point in the playoffs.

Speaking of that home-ice advantage, it’s a big one. Tampa Bay doesn’t often lose at home. They’ve won 31 times at home this season, which is more than any other team in the NHL. That’s a key advantage on Saturday.

Beyond that, the Bruins are simply coming apart at the seams. They’ve lost two straight and both were must-win games. They were shutout 3-0 at Washington and lost 4-2 at Florida. As a team, they haven’t scored more than three goals in a game in seven of their last eight and have totaled just 18 goals in their last eight games. The Lightning are the league’s highest-scoring team. They should blow the Bruins away.

 

Outlook
As for this NHL pick, although most signs here point to a Lightning win, I’m going to take a shot with the Bruins. They own this series and they need this game more than Tampa Bay does. Keep an eye on the Ottawa game early but if they lose, the Bruins are the play here. If not, then I’ll aim for the over instead. 

NHL Pick: Bruins +143 at BetOnline or Over

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