We have some Monday afternoon action in the NHL thanks to Canadian Thanksgiving. The NFL and MLB took centre stage yesterday, but there were some exciting NHL games on the schedule. Notably, the Maple Leafs and Blackhawks got into a wild one, as they traded goals right up to the end of regulation. You would have thought an Auston Matthews goal with just over a minute left in the game would have been enough, but it wasn’t. Nor was a John Tavares hat trick.
The Blackhawks responded with just 28.3 seconds left on the clock. Pat Kane found the back of the net to send it to overtime. Morgan Rielly ultimately ended the game to give the Leafs an extra point. Mike Babcock gave Frederik Andersen the day off and it showed. The Maple Leafs might be in the market for a backup goaltender, because I don’t believe Garret Sparks is an NHL goalie. Most Leafs’ games will go OVER the total this season, and when Sparks is in net, it might be an auto bet.
Meanwhile, the Ottawa Senators travel to Boston after defeating the Maple Leafs on Saturday night. It was a good win as underdogs in Toronto for the Sens. They aren’t going to amount to much this season, but they’re showing some effort to start at least. With the Erik Karlsson drama in the past that’s one thing that will help them out. The Bruins have had a couple of nights off heading into Monday. They were on the ice Thursday night against the Buffalo Sabres. Boston responded after getting drilled by the Capitals on Wednesday night. The Bruins dropped a 7-0 decision in their opener for what made for a frustrating first game, but Cassidy rallied the troops in Buffalo for a 4-0 victory. They’ll welcome the Senators to Boston for their debut at home for the 2018-19 season. Get our free Senators vs. Bruins pick below.
Ottawa Senators vs. Boston Bruins Pick
Tuukka Rask started in the opener and the Capitals belted him for 5 goals on just 19 shots. The end result was getting benched for Jaroslav Halak and some pretty ugly numbers. He ended the night with a save percentage of 0.737 and a whopping 10.92 GAA. Halak got the nod in net the following net against the Sabres and he blanked the Sabres.
The Bruins will go back to Rask on Monday afternoon as they hope to see him play much better. Rask has performed well against the Senators in his career, with a 2.17 GAA in 24 games. That equates to 1,385 minutes. If he plays like he did on Wednesday, it’s not going to matter much. The team as a whole certainly responded on Friday after getting called out for a pathetic effort.
Dating back to their playoff series against the Lightning, it was their first win in six games. They won the Game 1 in the playoffs, and then the Lightning won the next four games. The Senators and Bruins met in the regular season finale last season, resulting in a 5-2 win for Boston. The Bruins have beaten the Senators in four straight games by an average of 3.25 goals.
They’ve defeated them by at least 2 goals in three out of four matchups. After travelling to China in the preseason, the Bruins didn’t look ready to play regular season hockey against the Capitals. Whether that mattered or not, you could make an argument they looked jet-lagged. The Flames, who went to China as well, looked lethargic in their first game of the season, too. After an early season wakeup call, they were a different team against the Sabres. The 7-0 Bruins’ loss and 5-3 win for the Senators is not a true representation of these teams. Expect the Bruins to shine in their home opener at TD Garden on Monday afternoon.