NHL Picks: Bruins vs. Penguins

David Lawrence

Sunday, March 17, 2013 12:49 PM GMT

Sunday, Mar. 17, 2013 12:49 PM GMT

Two of the top teams in the NHL will meet on Sunday when the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins clash. Which of them should we back for our NHL picks or should we make a play on the Total?

NHL Betting: Bruins vs Penguins Picks 

While the Montreal Canadiens have been neck-in-neck with these teams, most people believe that the Bruins and Pens are East’s two best Cup contenders this season.

The Pens won the first meeting between the teams on Tuesday when they scored three third period goals to come from behind and win 3-2. Now the Bruins will look for some revenge on Sunday.

Record: 86-98 (-735)

The Boston Bruins can win because…

Their defense tends to dictate the pace in this series. In the last six meetings between the teams, four of the games have seen five goals or less. The Pens are a high-scoring outfit and would prefer shootouts but the Bruins are forcing the games to be played at their pace.

Boston has given up just 55 goals this season, which is the best in the NHL. They’ve allowed just nine goals in their last five games and if their regular defense shows up, they’ll be in position to get a win.

The Pittsburgh Penguins can win because…

They are red hot right now. Pittsburgh has won eight straight games and is the hottest team in the NHL. Included in that win streak is a 3-2 victory over Boston.

The difference between these two teams right now is the Pens offense. They lead the league in goals scored but recently, they’ve been getting it done at both ends of the ice. They’ve allowed just four goals in their last four games and if they can get two or three on Boston, that should be enough to put the low-scoring B’s away.

[gameodds]7/221673/43/us[/gameodds]

Outlook & Pick

Offense meets defense in this matchup and defense has dictated the pace. The Pens needed a miraculous third period on Tuesday to get the win as the Bruins blanked them through two periods. I see more of the same as the Bruins tend to dictate the pace when these two teams meet up.

I’m not going to make a hockey pick on a side here as Boston looks enticing as a road dog on the NHL odds but Pittsburgh is tough to bet against considering how hot they are. Instead, I’ll take the under.

NHL Pick: Under 5.5 at BetOnline

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