The Boston Bruins are feeling the heat in the Atlantic Division for the first time this season. The Tampa Bay Lightning have been coming on hard recently and have just about reeled the Bruins in. However, the Bruins continue to lead the Atlantic, and they got some help from the Vegas Golden Knights last night. Vegas gave the Lightning their first loss in 12 games. It was the first loss for the Lightning since a 3-2 final on January 27.
Last night also marked the first game since January 16 that the Lightning didn’t earn at least a point. The Bruins love to hear that the Lightning were cooled off for a night. We’ll see if the Lightning can get right back on the horse and start a new win streak, but it certainly looked like the Vegas Flu got to the Lightning at T-Mobile Arena.
Boston maintains a 3-point advantage over the Lightning going into Friday. They own a league-best record of 38-11-12 and 88 points. Will the Presidents’ Trophy curse strike again? Like I said before, if the Bruins play the Maple Leafs in the first round and they finally lose, then it’s time to start taking the curse seriously. Maybe that’s what it will take for the Maple Leafs to slay the dragon and advance to the next level in the playoffs.
The Bruins are heating up just like the Lightning recently. They slowed down after a red-hot first-half, but appear to be right back in the saddle. The Bruins won just one game in nine games during an ugly stretch in December. That’s the stretch that allowed the Lightning to play catch up and get right back into the race for top honours in the Atlantic Division. The Bruins aren’t going away quietly, though.
They’re going into Friday with a record of 10-1-0 in their past 11 games. The funk they were in is well in the past. Even the best teams go through tough stretches, and hopefully the worst is done for the Bruins now. The Bruins have two games left of this four-game road trip, and then it’s back to TD Garden to play the Flames again and the Stars. The Bruins topped the Rangers, 3-1, and the Oilers 2-1 in overtime before arriving in Calgary. Head below for our free Bruins vs. Flames pick.
Boston Bruins vs. Calgary Flames Betting Odds:
Bruins vs. Flames Prediction:
The Bruins are a versatile team that are capable of winning by getting into a run and gun style, or slowing it down and winning defensively. They’ve been scoring recently, but the opposition hasn’t found it easy to crack their defence. That is what can make the Bruins so dangerous. When they want to up the physicality, the Bruins can be a difficult team to generate a strong push in the offensive zone against. The Flames might be able to get it done at home Friday night, though. They’ve been pressing the issue recently and having success offensively. Instead of sitting back and letting the game to them, they’ve been attacking and seeing good results on the offensive end.
Calgary has 16 goals in their last three games for an average of 5.33 goals per game. Note that the Flames have scored at least 4 goals in five of their previous six contests, which is good for 5.2 goals per game in those six outings. Dating back to the end of January, the Flames have really been kicking it up a gear in that regard. They have notched 4 goals per game in their last games, with the talented playmakers on the Flames finally deciding to wake up. It was a struggle for them early in the season, but we’ve started to see their goal scorers getting going. They’ve been more effective at home, with an average of 3.1 goals scored a game as opposed to 2.85 goals overall.
Herein lies the problem with the Flames pressing on offence, though. Their defence has been getting KO’d and allowing goals in heaps. Good news about the offence scoring, but they have to get back and play defence, which hasn’t been happening too often. That doesn’t exclude David Rittich and Talbot in the crease. Rittich and Talbot have both been lost recently, with the Flames trying to get one of them hot.
However, that hasn’t occurred, at least not yet. Rittich has allowed 4 goals in each of his last two appearances, and has yielded 3 or more goals in six of his last outings. The same goes for Talbot, who has allowed 4 goals in each of his last two performances. He’s allowed at least 3 goals in five of his last seven tilts. The Flames have allowed 3.8 goals per contest in their last ten games to basically wipe out the 4 goals a game they’ve scored during that stretch. And the increase in goal scoring at home has resulted in more goals allowed on the other end. The Flames have allowed 3.38 goals per game at the Saddledome compared to an overall average of 3.1 goals against. I think we see a final score of 4-2 in Calgary to put this one OVER the total tonight.