The Boston Bruins and New York Rangers in what looks like a meeting of teams going in opposite directions. The Bruins look to improve on their healthy record of 31-11-6 and win their eighth game in their last nine attempts. Their most recent win came against the Maple Leafs, a 4-1 victory at home in Boston. They’ve been at home for four of their last five games, but the schedule is about to get a little choppy. The Bruins play seven of their next nine games at home, including five straight on the road. It’s been smooth sailing for them thus far, as they seek a playoff position, their last coming in 2016-17. They didn’t last very long, with the Senators bumping them out in the first-round. The last major push they made was back in 2012-13 when they lost to the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Final. The Bruins captures the Cup back in 2010-11 with a game-seven victory over the Canucks.
Boston is playing like a team who look like they could make another run this season. They’ve seemed to reload and acting like silent assassins on the ice. The Bruins haven’t gotten too much recognition up to this point, and it may be time to start paying attention to them. With a 3-2 win over the Red Wings last night, the Bruins have earned a point in 21 straight games. They’ll look for some more in NYC tonight, as they meet a Rangers team who have been trying to find some traction. The Rangers have lost six of their last seven games, and are on a three-game losing streak. Their most recent loss came against the Stars, a 2-1 defeat in Dallas. They’ve been on the road for six of seven, so we’ll see if Madison Square Garden treats them better tonight. Head below for our free Bruins vs. Rangers pick.
Boston Bruins vs. N.Y. Rangers Pick
Tuukka Rask has done a fine job for the Bruins in net this season. Without a strong year from Rask, the Bruins were going to go nowhere quick. Anton Khudobin has also done a good job behind Rask. Khudobin is expected to get the nod in net tonight, with the Bruins on a back-to-back and Rask getting the start last night. The 31-year-old hasn’t had a start since the 30th of January, where he took a 3-1 loss against the Ducks. He owns a respectable 2.36 GAA and 0.924 save percentage for the Bruins this season. The Bruins are atop the league, with an average of 2.37 goals allowed per game. When they won that Cup against the Canucks, they did it behind Tim Thomas and a stellar effort on the defensive end. They’re on the same pace this season, as they hope Rask can continue to strike gold between the pipes.
The Rangers on the other hand have been so topsy-turvy that it’s tough to get an accurate read on them. They got off to an abysmal start to the year and have fluctuated since then. There’s been some good but mostly bad, especially lately. They’ve lost their last three games and scored just 3 goals. However, the Bruins are not too fond of playing the Rangers. The Rangers have won the last seven in a row against the Bruins, and are 8-2-0 in their last ten meetings. Boston has gone an unremarkable 7-20 in NYC at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers have been solid at home, with a record of 17-9-1. Things get dicey when they get on the road, but they’ve been able to show up at MSG. I think coming off a hard fought 3-2 win last night, the Rangers should be able to do enough to slow the Bruins down tonight.
PICK: RANGERS (+105)