NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Bruins vs. Predators
Mark LoMoglio/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Jake DeBrusk.
- The Boston Bruins have been dominant all year and will look to keep rolling on Thursday night in Nashville.
- Meanwhile, the Predators are in the middle of a three-game homestand and looking to bounce back from a loss against Arizona.
- Continue reading for Carol Schram's best bet.
Bruins vs. Predators Odds
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
After picking up their 40th win of the year in Dallas on Tuesday, the Boston Bruins will wrap up a quick Central Division road trip when they face the Nashville Predators on Thursday night.
The Bruins are 1-1-0 since the All-Star break, while the Predators are 1-2-0.
Here’s the latest on both teams, and your best bet for Thursday’s game.
Seven points ahead of the second-place Carolina Hurricanes, the Bruins remain the clear frontrunners for the 2023 Presidents’ Trophy with less than 30 games remaining.
By their standards, the Bruins have been in a bit of a dip lately. They are 2-3-1 in their past six games and are scoring an average of just 2.5 goals per game. But in Tuesday’s win in Dallas, the Bruins showed their killer instinct as they erased a 2-1 deficit and left a very tough building with an overtime win against the top team in the Western Conference.
The Bruins remain first in goals against per game, second in goals for and first on the penalty kill. The power play has slipped to seventh and basically accounts for the team’s lower goal totals recently: Boston is now in a six-game drought without a power-play goal.
The power play could get a boost in Nashville if injured forward Jake DeBrusk returns to the lineup. He has missed 16 games with a hand injury, but has been practicing with the team. Earlier in the week, it was suggested he could be ready for game action against the Predators.
When he has been in the lineup, DeBrusk has productive player. He has 30 points in 36 games, including 16 goals. Those totals include five goals and six assists with the man advantage.
The Bruins are in a relatively light part of their schedule, so it’s not easy to predict which goaltender coach Jim Montgomery will go with Thursday. Vezina Trophy front-runner Linus Ullmark got the win in Dallas, but Jeremy Swayman is also a fine option, with a 12-4-4 record and .914 save percentage.
At this stage of the season, every game is crucial to the Nashville Predators. For the most part, they’re playing well, with a 6-4 record in their past 10 games. And while they’re 10th in the Western Conference, they’ll have three games in hand on Minnesota and Calgary, and two on Colorado following Wednesday’s games.
Of course, games in hand only have value if they can be converted into wins and the urgency has been ratcheted up after Nashville dropped a 4-2 decision to the Arizona Coyotes on Monday night.
After punching above their weight offensively last season, the Preds are down by about half-goal-per-game this year, which slots them into 26th. Filip Forsberg leads the team with 19 goals, but he missed Monday’s game with an upper-body injury and is listed as day-to-day. Once again, defenseman Roman Josi leads the team in scoring, but he’s at a low-for-him 44 points in 51 games.
In net, Juuse Saros continues to do his thing. Saros is 20-14-5 this season, but boasts a sparkling .919 save percentage and 20.4 goals saved above expected, good for fifth-best in the league.
Bruins vs. Predators Pick
Facing a potential Ullmark-vs-Saros matchup in net, the oddsmakers have bumped the over/under down to 5.5 — a relatively rare occurrence in the NHL this season.
Saros will be rested as he had the night off against the Coyotes. But prior to that, he had given up three goals or more in four of his past six starts.
Forsberg’s potential absence is worrisome, but Boston should do more than enough to set the stage for the Over — especially if DeBrusk returns to action.
Pick: Over 5.5 | Play to -125
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