Penguins Will Send Message in Sunday's Battle vs. Bruins

Dana Lane

Sunday, January 7, 2018 6:06 PM UTC

Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018 6:06 PM UTC

The home team has won five straight in the Bruins-Penguins series, and Pittsburgh will try to extend that streak in our NHL picks tonight.

NHL Sunday: Bruins vs. Penguins

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Free NHL Pick: Penguins -103Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

To think the Pittsburgh Penguins are done is horsefeathers, and tonight's game presents a chance for them to get back into the playoff picture. Right now they’re on the outside looking in, and what’s worse is that Columbus and Carolina have games in hand on the defending champions. That puts more of an emphasis on games such as this because the Boston Bruins are one of the teams the Pens are chasing. With a win tonight they’ll crawl within five points of the top three in the Atlantic Division.

Apparently I’m alone in thinking the Penguins have a chance. A quick glance at the SBR odds page reveals that both the public wagers and professional money are coming in heavy on the Bruins, with more than 90 percent of all tickets written on Boston. The professional money agrees. What a difference a year makes as the Bruins opened as just a -110 road dog but the money has pushed them to a high of -115 at Bookmaker. A quick glance at 5Dimes or BetOnline shows a reasonable -103 with Pittsburgh. We’ll let the public build bigger hotels and sportsbooks, while we take a sliver of those profits like a thief in the night.

The home team in this series has a streak of five wins. The last time Boston traveled to Pittsburgh, almost a year ago, the Penguins won 5-1 as a -140 favorite. Goalie Matt Murray was spectacular that night as the Bruins fired off 45 shots. Most were from the perimeter and Pittsburgh was definitely the faster team. It was a game that featured two teams going in different directions, with Boston in a mid-season funk. The circumstances have now flipped. Tristan Jarry will start in goal for Pittsburgh against Tuukka Rask, who took the loss last time out but was replaced by Zane McIntyre after an injury. Jarry is fresh off his second shutout of the season, blanking the New York Islanders on Friday night. Rask has allowed just 16 goals in his last 13 games.

This will be the last game before Pittsburgh takes a five-day break. I feel like they’re at their mental peak, knowing they don’t want to sit around for a week thinking about how bad they are. For my NHL picks, I think you’ll get the best of the Penguins tonight as they send a parting message to the rest of the Eastern Conference.

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