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NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Bruins vs. Penguins (April 21)

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Bruins vs. Penguins (April 21) article feature image

Joshua Sarner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Boston Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman.

  • The Pittsburgh Penguins host the Boston Bruins in Thursday's NHL clash.
  • The Bruins are slight -125 moneyline favorites, but analyst Jonny Lazarus is targeting the total.
  • Read his full betting preview below to see which side delivers the most value for his top pick.

Bruins vs. Penguins Odds

Bruins Odds +105
Penguins Odds -125
Over/Under 6
Time 7 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins meet for the second time in five nights in Thursday’s NHL matchup.

Both teams are missing some of their most important players, including David Pastrnak for the Bruins and Evgeni Malkin for the Penguins, but this game is huge as they’re trying to avoid a wild-card position.

The Bruins had a massive win in St. Louis on Tuesday, but are still struggling to finish on offense.

The Penguins are relying on Casey DeSmith to help carry them into the playoffs due to an unfortunate injury to starting goaltender Tristan Jarry.

Boston Bruins

The Bruins are duking it out for the third position in the Atlantic Division standings, as they’re only a point behind the Tampa Bay Lightning.

There is no doubt the Bruins are facing some adversity right now, as they are going through an offensive rough patch. On the bright side, they were able to find a way to beat a very good hockey team Tuesday when they ended the St. Louis win streak at nine games.

Boston has gone six consecutive games where it has scored two goals or less in regulation. Since April 9, the club has been the fifth-worst offensive team in the league, only averaging 2.17 goals per game.

Even though, Boston is struggling to score goals, it hasn’t missed a beat in its defensive end. In their last three games, the Bruins have only allowed a total of six goals. Jeremy Swayman started in two of those three outings and won both of them, only allowing three goals on 46 shots.

With Swayman in goal and Jarry out, the Bruins have a clear edge in goal. Swayman is 22-12-3 on the season with a 2.33 GAA and a .916 save percentage along with a 14th best +7.1 GSAx.

Even if the Bruins can’t find their offense, they can always count on their goaltending and defense to find ways to win.

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Pittsburgh Penguins

DeSmith hasn’t had so many appearances this season, but has skated to a winning record. He has a record of 8-5-5, but his numbers haven’t been as great as he has a 2.89 GAA and a .907 save percentage. He is 1-1-1 in his last three starts, allowing eight goals in total.

The Penguins have been a bit inconsistent lately and it doesn’t help that one of their star players in Malkin is unable to play due to a suspension and the starting goaltender is out with an injury.

Pittsburgh has been a great defensive team all season, but there’s no doubt it will face some challenges ahead with DeSmith minding the goal.

The one thing the Penguins have in their advantage is rest. They haven’t played since April 16, which was actually a game against the Bruins in Boston where they suffered a 2-1 defeat.

One area of concern in that game — and for this team of late — has been their power play. The man-advantage unit has been struggling, only scoring once in the last eight games and going one for their last 20 efforts They need to get back on track if they want to have success in the playoffs.

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Bruins vs. Penguins Pick

These teams match up well against each other and with the importance of this game for the standings implications, I think it will be a tight, defensive game for both sides.

The Bruins have had continuous offensive struggles and the Penguins haven’t been much better at putting pucks in the net. In their last meeting, it had a playoff feel and is exactly what will be expected again.

I think the Bruins have the edge in this game, despite being the road underdog, but I truly believe that both goaltenders have extra motivation knowing what is at stake.

That said, I like under six goals in this game.

Pick: Total Under 6 Goals (-115)

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