NHL Odds, Pick & Preview: Devils vs. Bruins (March 31)
BOSTON, MA – JANUARY 18: David Pastrnak #88 of the Boston Bruins.
- The Bruins host the Devils Thursday night in Boston as heavy home favorites.
- The Devils defense has struggled recently, but is this a good buy-low spot for them?
- Tony Sartori breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.
Devils vs. Bruins Odds
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The Metropolitan Division's seventh-place Devils travel to Boston to take on the Atlantic Division's fourth-place Bruins. This is the third meeting between these two teams this season, with both of the previous matchups reaching at least six goals.
Will we see another high-scoring affair between these two teams, or will the goaltending step up?
Devils Defense Struggling
The New Jersey Devils have seen many high-scoring contests recently as there have been six or more total goals scored in five of their last seven games. Poor goaltending has been the primary culprit for these high-scoring games, which I do not expect to improve against a very good Boston offense.
Nico Daws is the projected starting goaltender for New Jersey and has really struggled recently. Daws has allowed three or more goals in five of his last six starts, posting a mere 0.870 Save Percentage in that stretch.
To be fair, the defense in front of Daws has been equally as bad. This season, New Jersey ranks just 23rd in the league in five-on-five Expected Goals Against per 60 minutes (xGA).
On the other hand, New Jersey's offense has been on fire as they are averaging 3.43 goals scored per game over their last seven contests. The Devils now rank seventh in the league in five-on-five Expected Goals For per 60 minutes (xGF).
Bruins Looking to Bounce Back
The Boston Bruins enter this contest following Tuesday's 6-4 home loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs. This game was yet another high-scoring contest for the Bruins, who have seen six or more total goals scored in four of their last six games.
Led by surging David Pastrnak, the Bruins offense has really picked up recently as they are averaging four goals scored per game over their last five contests. I expect Boston's offense to keep it rolling against a poor New Jersey defense and a struggling Daws in net.
This season, the Bruins rank 12th in the league in five-on-five Expected Goals For per 60 minutes (xGF). The Bruins' backup goaltender, Linus Ullmark, is the confirmed starter in their matchup against New Jersey.
Ullmark has not nearly been as sharp as regular starting goaltender Jeremy Swayman as he possesses a mere 0.890 Save Percentage over his last 10 starts.
Devils vs. Bruins Pick
With how hot the Boston offense has been and Ullmark between the pipes instead of Swayman, I think this game gets to at least six total goals.
Four of the last five meetings between these two teams have seen at least six total goals scored, and I think this trend continues with these two goaltenders in net. Plus, both offenses are clicking right now and should generate some High-Danger Scoring Chances throughout the game.
However, I would probably stay away from this total if it gets up to 6.5 before puck drop.
Pick: Devils/Bruins Over 6 (-120) | Play up to (-130)