Islanders vs. Bruins Odds, Picks, Predictions: Total Has Value on Saturday
Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images. Left to right: Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak.
- The Bruins are a big favorite at home against the Islanders on Saturday afternoon.
- Nicholas Martin is targeting the total in a meeting between two of the slower-paced and stingiest teams in the NHL.
- Get his full breakdown for Islanders vs. Bruins below.
Islanders vs. Bruins Odds
|Time||12:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL odds here.|
New York bested the Bruins in six games last year in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals, and once again the Islanders have had Boston’s number in the first two matchups this season, winning both in regulation with an aggregate score of 7-2.
With the Bruins in the midst of some tremendous form currently, are they due to finally push past the Isles here? Let’s dive right into it.
New York Islanders
Skating out what has been a disappointing season that will all but certainly result in a surprising postseason miss, the Islanders have played to a dominant 8-2-1 mark over their last 11 games.
The stifling defensive play we are used to seeing from Barry Trotz’s club has began to show through more often, as the Islanders have allowed just 1.90 goals for per game over that run.
Ilya Sorokin and Semyon Varlamov have thrived as of late in goal for the Islanders, but it certainly doesn’t hurt that New York has played to a 2.60 expected goals against per/60 rate over its last 5 contests either.
Offensively, the Islanders have found more success recently, but it is clear that the group still is not coming at the opposition with wave after wave of capable scorers by any means, and over the last five the Islanders has played to a very low 2.58 expected goals for per/60 mark.
We are seeing the Islanders play a very low event style of hockey recently, which is typical for this roster under coach Trotz, but it’s been surprising how often they have strayed from that style of play this season.
Ilya Sorokin will likely get the start here. Sorokin holds a +8.9 goals saved above expected rating with a .927 save % throughout 42 games played this year.
A massive surge from the Bruins has them now tied for second in the Atlantic division, looking to claim a surprising home-ice advantage. After beating the Lightning 3-2 in regulation on Thursday, the Bruins are now 14-2-1 over their last 17 contests.
Analytically, the Bruins have dominated over that span, playing to the league’s best expected goals rate since February 21st at 60.69, guided by the team’s traditional defensive excellence.
The Bruins have played to the best expected goals against per/60 mark over that time by a massive margin of 0.48, with a 2.14 rating.
The main deadline acquisition for Boston, defender Hampus Lindholm, was excellent in his debut Thursday against Tampa Bay. Lindholm played to an 81.38 expected goals share with an assist, playing mainly alongside Charlie McAvoy on what should be an excellent top pairing.
Linus Ullmark has been confirmed as the Bruins starting goaltender for this contest. Ullmark holds a -4.5 goals saved above expected rating.
Islanders vs. Bruins Pick
The Bruins have been the NHL’s best defensive club in 2022, and they have continued to show an ability to hold the opposition to very little in the way of high danger chances. Even with Boston confirming it’s lesser net-minding option in Ullmark here, I feel they will likely hold the Islanders to two or less.
New York has played closer to the dominant defensive game we have been so accustomed to seeing throughout Trotz’s tenure of late, allowing just 1.77 goals per game to the opposition over its last 9 outings.
Even after suffering some very frustrating bad beats to the under lately, I still can’t look past playing the under 5.5 here given how these teams matchup. Both of these clubs are well known for excellent defensive play when true to form, and they have each played a ton of lower scoring, tightly contested battles recently.
The two previous matchups this season between these clubs played out as such, with 4.5 goals combined per game, and I think it’s more likely we see another game stay under 5.5 here than a -115 number suggests.
Pick: Under 5.5 -115 (Play to -130)