Panthers vs Bruins Odds & Prediction: Bet Boston on Puck Line?
Pictured: The Boston Bruins huddle in celebration. (Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
- The Boston Bruins host the Florida Panthers in Game 2 of their NHL playoff series.
- Boston won Game 1 and our expert is backing them to win again in Game 2.
- Continue reading for Carol Schram's prediction and Panthers vs Bruins best bet.
Panthers vs Bruins Game 2 Odds
|Over/Under||6.5 (+105 / -125)|
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
After their heroic push to seize the last playoff spot in the NHL’s Eastern Conference, the Florida Panthers already have their backs against the wall.
A solid effort in Game 1 wasn’t enough to topple the league’s top team, the Boston Bruins.
The Bruins were a formidable 34-4-3 on home ice during the regular season. In the playoffs, they haven’t lost on home ice since Game 5 of their 2021 second-round series against the New York Islanders.
On Wednesday, the Panthers would dearly love to secure a split before heading back to Florida.
Here’s your best bet for Panthers vs Bruins.
The Panthers came to play in Game 1 and outshot the Bruins 32-29, while controlling more than 61% of expected goals at 5-on-5.
More importantly, the Panthers came up short in two key areas. In a game that saw just four penalties assessed, Florida was out-dueled on special teams as David Pastrnak gave Boston an early lead with with a power-play goal in the opening frame. And Linus Ullmark, once again, was rock solid in the Boston net, yielding just one goals and saving an incredible 2.35 goals above expected.
Alex Lyon, 30, certainly earned his first career playoff start. His six-straight wins down the stretch essentially secured Florida’s playoff berth. Coach Paul Maurice pumped up the journeyman during his postgame remarks Monday and praised him again on Tuesday, but stopped short of naming him the Game 2 starter.
If Maurice decides to turn to Sergei Bobrovsky, he’ll be suiting up for the first time since March 27. Bobrovsky is a two-time Vezina Trophy winner and anchored the Columbus Blue Jackets’ 2019 upset of the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Tampa Bay Lightning.
Bobrovsky has been in this situation before, but he boasted a .913 save percentage and a league-leading nine shutouts when he authored that upset four years ago. This season, he has a more pedestrian .901 save percentage and a 3.07 goals-against average.
Bobrovsky was one of a handful of players who took part in Florida’s optional practice Tuesday. Forward Sam Bennett was also on hand and is inching closer to a return after missing the past 13 games with a groin injury.
The Bruins are such a well-rounded team that even when a key cog like Patrice Bergeron sits out due to illness, the rest of the group can get the job done.
Even without Bergeron, the Bruins still held a slight edge in the faceoff circle, thanks in large part to a 10-for-14 performance by Tomas Nosek. And amidst rumors that other players in the locker room were also dealing with illness, coach Jim Montgomery took advantage of the Bruins’ lead for much of the game and evenly distributed his club’s ice time.
Montgomery said Tuesday that Bergeron remains questionable for Game 2, although he is feeling better. And even though he hasn’t been on the ice, the Bruins’ leader has been around the team and in the coaches’ room, contributing advice, perspective and motivation.
Other than Bergeron, the Bruins are healthy. Pavel Zacha did an admirable job of anchoring the first line in Game 1, skating between Brad Marchand and Jake DeBrusk. He was held off the scoresheet, but was on the ice for all three Boston goals and went 10-for-17 on the dot.
Panthers vs Bruins Pick
Last season, the Panthers were the highest-scoring team in the NHL and averaged more than four goals a game. However, their production evaporated in the second round of the playoffs and they bowed out after scoring just three goals in a four-game sweep at the hands of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
This season, the Panthers slipped to 3.51 goals a game. That’s still solid, and the squad boasted two 40-plus goal scorers in Carter Verhaeghe (42) and Matthew Tkachuk (40).
Lyon gave Florida a chance to win Monday, but the Panthers’ scorers couldn’t solve Linus Ullmark — and that has become a pattern.
With another low-scoring affair likely Wednesday, bettors can feel good about targeting the total, especially with the over/under set at 6.5. But despite Florida’s strong play in Game 1, there’s good reason to be bullish on the Bruins and that makes a plus-money puck-line play attractive.
Pick: Bruins -1.5 | Play to +100
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