The Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins are set to meet on Monday night to play the first of a back-to-back at PPG Paints Arena. The Bruins head into Pittsburgh with a record of 14-7-4. They’ve been trying to hold their heads and pick up wins despite a banged up roster. That includes starting goaltender Tuukka Rask, who has been nursing an undisclosed injury. The Bruins thought that it was going to be something quick, and Rask wouldn’t be out for an extended period of time.
However, it continues to bother him, and he hasn’t played since March 7. Rask has been productive with a 2.46 GAA and 0.906 save percentage. Fortunately for the Bruins, they have one of the best 1-2 combos in the NHL between the pipes. In a season that has so many back-to-back situations, it’s important to have two quality goaltenders. Jaroslav Halak continues to carry out his role extremely well in Boston. There isn’t a clear No. 1 and No. 2 for the Bruins. It’s hard to keep Halak off the ice even when Rask is healthy. I’m sure he would appreciate some goal support from time to time, because the Bruins have been inconsistent in that department as of late.
The Bruins have been up and down recently, with wins in one of their last four outings.They are coming off a 4-0 loss at home against the New York Rangers on Saturday. Halak was in the crease for that contest, and it was a rare game where he struggled to get into a groove. He gave up 4 goals on 33 shots for a 0.879 save percentage. That was an off night for Rask, where a couple of days earlier he blanked the Rangers in a 4-0 win for the Bruins. It prevented a three-game losing streak for the Bruins, but they got right back on the losing path on Saturday.
Pittsburgh has been on fire and hopes to stay hot on Monday. They’re on a five-game winning streak, with their most recent loss on March 4 against the Philadelphia Flyers. Do you think the Penguins are sad about parting ways with Matt Murray? Likely not. At least if you look at what Casey DeSmith has been able to accomplish. Tristan Jarry has essentially replaced Murray’s role as the struggling starter, while DeSmith has been the better of the two as a backup. Head below for our free Bruins vs. Penguins pick on March 15, 2021.
Boston Bruins vs. Pittsburgh Penguins NHL Betting Odds:
Bruins vs. Penguins Prediction:
29-year-old has been a reliable second option for the Penguins over the past few years. In his first two years in the NHL, DeSmith posted a 2.40 GAA and 0.921 save percentage in 2017-18, along with a 2.75 GAA and 0.916 save percentage the following season. He’s been showing why the Penguins should consider DeSmith as the full-time No. 1. DeSmith boasts a 2.23 GAA and 0.912 save percentage through nine games, while Tristan Jarry has a 3.00 GAA and 0.901 save percentage in 19 games.
It hasn’t made much of a difference who is in net recently, though. The Penguins have won five straight games, and they have a good chance of making it a sixth over the Bruins. Say what you want about fans in the crowd providing more of an advantage at home, it hasn’t mattered one way or another for the Penguins. They’ve been hot at home with a record of 7-3-1. Note that the Penguins have recorded 3.77 goals per game, and allowed just 2.54 goals per game at home this season.
The fact that we’re getting close to even odds on the Penguins at PPG Paints Arena has to be taken into consideration. You are not going to find the Penguins at that price very often in Pittsburgh. In their previous ten outings, the Penguins have scored an average of 3.5 goals per game, while conceded just 2.4 goals per game. It hasn’t mattered much where they’ve been playing in recent matchups.
That has equated to seven wins for the Pens in their previous ten outings. The Bruins are fortunate that they’re 7-4-3 on the road this season. They are very lucky, as it has been a bit of a mirage for the Bruins in 2020-21. Despite that adequate record, the offence has hibernated on the road. The Bruins have scored only 2.29 goals, while conceding 2.64 goals per game as a visitor.
The Bruins enter Pittsburgh with a lengthy injury report. Along with Rask, Zach Senyshyn is out indefinitely, while four defencemen are out for the Bruins. Brandon Carlo, John Moore, Jeremy Lauzon, and Kevan Miller are all dealing with issues. Miller is travelling with the team, though, and is close to a role. In any case, depth on the blue line is a problem for the Bruins right now. I’d ride the red-hot Penguins at home on Monday night.