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St. Louis Blues vs. Boston Bruins Picks & NHL Preview

Blues vs Bruins NHL Line & Handicapping

Two of the Best Do Battle Thursday Night – Bruins Host Blues

The Boston Bruins return home Thursday night to take on the #3 team in the overall standings, the St. Louis Blues. Both teams are certainly trending upward and have identical 7-2-1 record over their last 10 games and both consider themselves contenders as the season wears on.

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St. Louis (14-3-2-1) at Boston (14-6-0-1)
When: 7:00 PM ET, Thursday, November 21, 2013
Where: TD Banknorth Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Broadcast: NHLN-US, RDS, FS-MW, NESN
Blues vs. Bruins Betting Lines
St Louis Blues +1½ -280 +110 Ov 5 +100
Boston Bruins -1½ +235 -121 Un 5 -110

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The Bruins sit atop the Atlantic Division while the Blues are just two points back in the competitive Central.

The St. Louis Blues have been terrific in every aspect of the game so far this season. They average 3.40 goals per game and surrender an average of just 2.30 goals per game. The Blues have a league leading +23 goal differential, their power play is clicking at 25.7% and the Penalty Kill is at 83.1% – no wonder they sit near the top of the standings.

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The Blues have been led by an unlikely source – Alex Steen has an incredible 17 goals and 9 assists on the season – the second leading scorer on the team David Backes has eight! Defenseman Jay Bouwmeester has one goal and five assists during a five-game point streak, TJ Oshie has six points in his last four games, Chris Stewart has four points in four games and newcomer Brenden Morrow has three points in three games including a goal in the last game.

Jaroslav Halak will get the start in goal although he has been a tad inconsistent of late. He gave up three goals on six shots Sunday but bounced back with a 23 save win in his next start. Halak is 11-3-2 this year with a 2.38 GAA and .9013 save percentage.

The Blues will have to bring the offense Thursday night – the Bruins continue to be the stingiest defense in the game. Boston is coming off a 2-1 win against the Rangers and now has allowed just an average of 1.76 goals per game this year.
Tuukka Rask has been incredible starting 18 of Boston’s first 21 games. He has 13 wins and a goals-against average to 1.61 with an incredible .946 save percentage. Getting one or two past him will be a chore indeed! Backup Chad Johnson could get the start in net against St. Louis. He is 2-1-0 with a 2.30 goals-against average in three starts, most recently making 32 saves in a 3-2 overtime win over Columbus on Thursday.

Boston’s offense has been decent this year as well – more than adequate to compliment their terrific defense. The Bruins average 2.76 goals per game and the team has a knack of spreading out the offense, rolling four quality lines at the opposition. Loui Eriksson has seven points in his last two games, Reilly Smith has two points in two games and Carl Soderberg also has two points in two games – the hottest of the Bruins heading into Thursday night’s tilt.

Betting Prediction

A few trends to consider:

• STL are 13-3 in their last 16 Thu. games.
• Over is 4-1-4 in STL last 9 vs. Atlantic.
• STL are 20-6 in their last 26 vs. Atlantic.
• BOS are 16-5 in their last 21 Thu. games.
• Under is 17-6-6 in BOS last 29 Thu. games.
• Under is 20-8-10 in BOS last 38 home games.
• STL are 13-4-1 in the last 18 meetings.

The Blues are 5-2-1 on the road this year and the Bruins are 8-3-1 at home. This will be a huge test for the Blues and I think they run into a wall Thursday night. It is a matchup of one of the best offenses versus the best defense – in this case I have to go with the defense to prevail.

Boston is hitting their stride – they are dragging teams into their type of game as of late. In a surprisingly low scoring game take the home team.

Pick: Boston Bruins -121


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About DaveB

Dave B has been a Fantasy Football writer for us for 10 years. A couch potato wannabe, Dave’s insights have been read by 10’s of people for years. He hope’s for world peace + global relaxation. Enjoy and remember only smoke things that are completely natural.