The Boston Bruins were able to overcome a sloppy start in Calgary last night, as they erased a 3-1 deficit and emerged with a 4-3 win. That’s a game that got away from the Flames. It could have been a big win for the Flames and a confidence builder, but that evaporated quickly. The 1st period was busy with 6 goals scored for a 3-3 game at the break.
Calgary scored 2 goals in less than three minutes to open the game, though Patrice Bergeron struck back seconds later to make it a 2-1 contest. Only 25 seconds later, Johnny Gaudreau beat Jaroslav Halak and it was a 2-goal lead for the Flames again. That was all for the Flames, though, as the Bruins scored 3 unanswered goals for the win.
Like I’ve said, the Bruins have the potential to win these types of high-scoring games or uglying it up and punishing teams with their defence. That makes the Bruins a dangerous team that have the personnel to diffuse any situation a team may throw their way. The Flames have been playing an uptempo game recently, and attempted to beat the Bruins that way. While it worked for about 5 minutes, the Bruins just called on their playmakers to turn it on and they came out of Calgary with a 4-3 win.
The Lightning were able to do the same in the regular season a year ago, and look where that got them, though. So, just a forewarning that the playoffs can be a different animal. What is constant, though, is the Bruins beating the Maple Leafs in the postseason. If they draw a first round series against the Maple Leafs again, history may have a funny way of repeating itself.
Boston advanced to 39-11-12 and 90 points with the win in Calgary. They are the first team in the NHL to reach 90 points in the league. That puts them 5 points ahead of the Lightning for 1st in the Atlantic Division. It’s a two-team race between the Lightning and Bruins. The Maple Leafs and Panthers will battle it out for the No. 3 spot in the division.
Meanwhile, Vancouver is in the middle of a furious race between four other teams in the Pacific Division. The Golden Knights enter 1st in the division, while the Canucks trail by 2 points in 3rd, behind the Oilers by a point. It’s a wide open race with the division to be decided likely in the last week of the regular season. Head below for our free Bruins vs. Canucks pick.
Boston Bruins vs. Vancouver Canucks Betting Odds:
Bruins vs. Canucks Prediction:
The Canucks were in action on Thursday against the Minnesota Wild and didn’t get the result that they were seeking. The Wild got the game to a shootout and stole a couple of points in Vancouver. Did the Canucks play a bad game in that one? No, they certainly did enough to win the game, but puck luck wasn’t on their side.
Shootouts aren’t exactly the best way to decide winners. Fortunately, those go away in the playoffs when the stakes ramp up considerably. The Canucks have been in a bit of a funk recently. As soon as they grabbed top honours in the division, they regressed and gave it up.
Despite just two wins in their last eight games, the Canucks are only two games out of 1st, though. There are two or more ways to look at anything. That’s the positive side of the coin for the Canucks. The Bruins will also be playing on a back-to-back tonight, so that’s a positive despite having to play the top ranked Bruins on Saturday night.
Calgary made the Bruins work for those points last night. They likely won’t feel fresh, though the Bruins may not need the day off to get a win. Having said that, the Bruins have been rather pedestrian on a back-to-back. They have a record of 5-4-1 after playing the day before. When the Bruins have a day of rest, they’ve gone 18-5-9 and 11-2-2 on two days rest. With the Bruins on fire, perhaps the back-to-back won’t bother them, though. They are winners in 11 of their last 12 games.
The Bruins have been almost unbeatable at TD Garden, with only two losses coming in regulation in Boston. They have been very good on the road, though far more beatable. Boston carries a record of 18-9-3 on the road into Vancouver tonight. The Canucks have posted a mark of 19-7-4 at Rogers Arena.
They’ve netted a terrific 3.53 goals per game and allowed 2.63 goals per game defensively in Vancouver. I see why the Bruins are favourites given their recent success and record of 39-11-12 for best in the NHL. However, I don’t know that they should be this heavy of a favourite on a back-to-back on the west coast. This looks like it could be a letdown spot for Boston. A play on the home underdog looks like a better value.