The Boston Bruins play host to the LA Kings at TD Garden on Saturday afternoon. Boston are coming off a tight 4-3 loss in a shootout against the Rangers on Wednesday. The shootout went to seven rounds before Halak was the first goaltender to crack. Tuukka Rask has been red-hot, though the Bruins opted to give him the night off at MSG.
With the Rangers getting an extra day off as well, he should feel fresh this afternoon against the Kings. The Kings come into NYC playing in their fifth straight game on the road. They are not done after Saturday, as they have to play one more on the road in Washington before going back west.
The Kings have struggled to keep up this season, and a trip out east didn’t seem like it was going to ease the pain much. It’s been quite the contrary, though, as the Kings have sprung to life on their road trip. A change of scenery has been helping them out apparently.
The Kings have won three games in a row, with wins over the Devils, Rangers, and Flyers. Not the best teams and all three of them are likely going to be watching the playoffs from home, but it’s at least nice to see that the Kings are showing signs of life.
It’s doing more harm than good with respects to improving their draft stock, though. Their core is older and they certainly have to address that very soon. Getting the first overall pick in the draft would help out in that respect, but most of the players on this team are not going to be around to see the future. We’ll see if they can sustain this run, though, and hand the Bruins a loss on Saturday afternoon. Head below for our free Kings vs. Bruins pick.
L.A. Kings vs. Boston Bruins Pick
Rask is expected to be between the pipes for the Bruins this evening. He hopes to pick up from where he left off against the Islanders. Rask was sharp as a tack, sending back 28 of 29 shots. The Bruins ultimately earned a 3-1 win with Rask outduelling Lehner. Since a slow start and Halak threatening to take his starting job, Rask has been brilliant in net. Halak has regressed and Rask has risen to the occasion.
It would be nice for Halak to pick it up and get back to where he was, though. They squandered an opportunity the other day against the Rangers, a game in which Rask probably doesn’t allow 4 goals or even 3 and allows it to go to overtime. Rask enters Saturday with a 2.30 GAA and 0.924 save percentage. In his last eleven starts, he has allowed only 1.5 goals per game. Against a bad Kings’ offence, expect Rask to look good in the crease again.
The Kings have suddenly looked like an NHL team recently when it comes to their offence. However, 9 goals came against the Rangers and Devils, two defences that rank in the bottom of the league. It’s good for them, but they should revert back to their dysfunctional offence against Boston today.
Note that the Kings are 30th in the league with only 2.33 goals scored per game. The Bruins could afford to improve the goal scoring as well. They are 21st with only 2.85 goals per game, but the defence has carried them as their defensive unit is in 4th. I don’t expect the Bruins to need much offence against the Kings in this one. The moneyline is just way too pricey for me, though. Instead I’d go with the better price on the UNDER at TD Garden.