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Bruins vs. Rangers NHL Odds, Preview & Predictions (Tuesday, Feb. 15)

Bruins vs. Rangers NHL Odds, Preview & Predictions (Tuesday, Feb. 15) article feature image
Credit:

Claus Andersen/Getty Images. Pictured: Igor Shesterkin.

  • The New York Rangers return to action Tuesday after a 14-day layoff.
  • Will they shake off the rust and prevail as home favorites, or is there sneaky value on the Bruins?
  • Nick Martin breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.

Bruins vs. Rangers Odds

Bruins Odds +120
Rangers Odds -140
Over/Under 5.5 (-115o / -105u)
Time 7 p.m. ET
TV ESPN+
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

After a lengthy 14-day layoff, the Rangers will finally be back in action looking to build on what has been a very promising start to the season. They are catching Boston at the right time as the top-heavy Bruins will take the ice without Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron for this one.

Can Boston take advantage of what could be a rusty New York side here?

Bruins Looking for an Offensive Breakthrough

Boston bounced back after a pair of home losses over Pittsburgh and Carolina with a sound 2-0 win over the Senators behind Jeremy Swayman’s 30-save shutout.

While two goals were plenty in that contest, Boston’s lack of offensive production continues to be more concerning of late. With Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron set to remain on the sidelines, this problem could be magnified for the Bruins.

Boston have generated just 1.97 Expected Goals per game over their last 10 games, scoring just 2.30 goals for per game over that span. The Burins have a worse rate of 1.66 over their last six contests, which included four games with Marchand and Bergeron.

Meanwhile, the Bruins’ defensive play has stayed strong by allowing the league’s lowest xGA/60 rate over that span at 1.97. Their defense corps should lead the way with more excellent defensive play down the stretch, even if Bergeron and Marchand’s defensive excellence is a meaningful loss there too.

The Bruins have confirmed their better starting option in Swayman for the contest, who holds a +6.8 Goals Saved Above Expected rating with a .919 Save % in 19 games played this season.

Will the Rangers Shake Off Their Rust?

For Gerard Gallant’s young Rangers team, this game will serve as another big chance to prove the legitimacy of its play, as a number of pundits continue to speculate this club is simply not as good as its record indicates.

Over their last 10 games, the Rangers’ underlying numbers continue to be far from strong, playing to just a 44.46% Expected Goals share, with a 2.37 xGF/60 rating.

The Rangers surely have some players capable of creating offensive plays and improving their analytical numbers, but it’s still hard to feel that they set up to be much of an offensive juggernaut with the lack of support behind their top names.

New York has scored at the 15th-highest rate this season with 3.02 Goals For per game, even while scoring 7.55 Goals For Above Expected.

There are surely some names who could offer more support down the stretch such as Alexis Lafreniere, who will likely get a chance to start on the top unit for this contest. Unfortunately, they also may not have Chris Kreider scoring 0.70 goals per game while shooting 22.5% for the entirety of the season either.

Igor Shesterkin has been utterly tremendous for the Rangers this season, and he will likely start here after the long layoff. He has a +24.6 Goals Saved Above Expected rating with a .937 Save % in 29 games this season.

Bruins vs. Rangers Pick

The Bruins have put together some of the league’s best defensive play so far this season, but, without two of their most crucial offensive producers in Marchand and Bergeron, the Bruins should put together another excellent defensive performance. While those two are both tremendous defensive players, I still see it as a net loss toward the total here.

Behind the big names, the Bruins haven’t produced much secondary scoring. Boston has struggled of late offensively, scoring just 1.66 Goals For per game over their last six, even with Bergeron and Marchand playing in four of those contests.

The Rangers enter in a similar boat, not seeing a ton in the way of depth scoring at 5-on-5 yet this season, but they feature some strong defensive play, or at least the appearance of such with Shesterkin’s ridiculously good play in net. This has culminated in the Rangers allowing the fourth-fewest goals against per game so far this season at 2.57.

With Swayman confirmed for the Bruins, we have two strong goaltender’s skating in a contest featuring two teams with very middling offensive units with a total of six currently at -115, and not 5.5.

The Rangers entering fresh after a 14-day layoff is a little concerning toward an under bet, but outside of that, everything seems to indicate this being a low scoring contest. Play the under at 6 all the way down to -145 and expect it to move heavily in that direction closer to game time.

Should you like the over in this narrative as the Rangers get back into action, I recommend waiting until game-time as I expect better prices to be available.

Pick: Under 6 -115 (Play at 6 down to -145)

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