Bruins vs. Sharks NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Back Boston To Lengthen Win Streak (Saturday, February 26)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images. Pictured: David Pastrnak.
- The Bruins continue their western road trip in San Jose on Saturday night.
- Boston is a -175 favorite to win its fourth game in a row, facing a Sharks team without a regulation win this month.
- Nicholas Martin breaks down the game and gives his top pick, below.
Bruins vs. Sharks Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL odds here.|
It took against a middling Islanders squad, but San Jose finally snapped its seven-game losing streak with a 4-3 win Thursday. Boston produced a win past regulation itself on Thursday vs. the Kraken, and it will look to make it four straight with a win against the Sharks.
Can the Bruins build on a strong 14-7-3 road record here?
Bruins Search For Four-Game Win Streak
Boston seems to continue to fly under the radar this season, given the strength of the top-three teams in the Atlantic, but the results have remained very solid. Its three-game win streak featured an impressive 5-1 result over the Avalanche, playing short what I would consider Boston’s best player in Brad Marchand.
The Bruins remain one of the league’s best defensive teams, and true to form they’ve allowed just 2.04 xGF/60 this month, consistent with what this core has produced year after year under Bruce Cassidy. I do not expect anything to change.
The top pieces all have still been wildly dominant, and the way Boston is currently skating its top six should allow some notable mismatches at times in this contest, with the trio of Marchand, Pastrnak and Bergeron now divided onto two very strong units.
Behind that, Boston has again produced excellent special teams play, holding a seventh-ranked powerplay unit and a ninth-ranked penalty kill.
The main drop-off for the Bruins has been due to the average play from Linus Ullmark and the ridiculously configuration of the top heavy Atlantic Division. But this team is still very good, and it will surely be a very tough out come the spring.
Jeremy Swayman should likely start this contest looking to build on more strong play as of late. That’s pretty much par for the course of his entire NHL career, as he holds a +10.3 goals saved above expected rating with a .925 save percentage over 22 games played this season.
Sharks Have Hit February Snag
Over their last six contests, the Sharks hold a lowly 39.38 expected goals rate, allowing 3.01 expected goals per contest at even strength, which is a huge concern for a group that truly does not pack a lot of offensive punch.
With Erik Karlsson remaining sidelined, the top two defensive pairings are skating well below average. The unit of Mario Ferraro and Brent Burns have struggled over a large sample size together, and I just do not feel there’s much room for the Sharks to trend upwards and improve upon their defensive concerns too greatly.
Offensively the Sharks have struggled to a 2.67 goals for per game rate, and they hold a lowly 1.95 xGF/60 rate over the month of February. Essentially they have struggled at both ends, and while those concerns could look less bad against some less formidable competition moving forward, they are far from getting any sort of easy competition here in a contest against the Bruins.
James Reimer has been sharp this season for the Sharks, posting a +2.9 goals saved above expected rating with a .913 save percentage throughout 31 games played.
Boston enters this one in the midst of more strong play, and the defensive play this team is capable of producing is simply far beyond what the Sharks have produced as of late. I feel the lesser results we are seeing from the Sharks top four defenders are likely to continue moving forward.
The Bruins make it very hard to generate at 5-on-5, and they possess strong special teams play behind that. This is one where I expect them to control more of the play, and we should likely see their better net-minding option in Jeremy Swayman head back into the crease with Linus Ullmark having gotten the start in Seattle.
When I look towards the wide disparity in play between these teams recently, I feel this is one Boston wins in regulation more than 50% of the time, and in turn we have value backing a regulation win at -110. I would play that down to -125.
Pick: Boston Bruins Regulation Win -110 | Play to -125