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Boston Bruins vs. New York Islanders Free Picks & NHL Preview

Bruins vs Islanders NHL Spread/Handicapping

Headline: Bruins Wrap Up Road Trip At Islanders Tuesday Night

One of the teams hoping to make the jump to a playoff contender in the East, the New York Islanders will get a chance to measure themselves against the best team in the Conference when the Boston Bruins come to town to wrap up their five game road trip.

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Boston Bruins (11-2-1-1) at NY Islanders (8-10-1-0)
When: 7:30 PM ET, Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Where: Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, New York
Broadcast: NBCSN, NESN
Bruins vs. Islanders Betting Lines from JustBet
Boston Bruins -1½ +200 -140 Ov 5½ +102
New York Islanders +1½ -240 +127 Un 5½ -113

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While the Bruins have been sensational on the road this season (7-1-1), the Islanders have been miserable on home ice this year (2-7-0). New York will be out to avenge a 4-2 loss at the hands of the Bruins January 25.

The Boston Bruins will be going for their fourth straight win on the road Tuesday night after a 4-1 win at Florida Sunday. There doesn`t seem to be a weakness on this Bruins team – they have the best winning percentage in the East, they score an average of 2.87 goals per game and give up just 2.20 goals per game. Their penalty killing is an unworldly 94.8% and even the power play has seen an uptick in production.

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There aren`t any offensive players on the Bruins whose stats jump off the page but they are deep, they are talented and they are as relentless as any team in the NHL. If you haven`t seen Zdeno Chara`s goal against Florida Sunday, do yourself a favor and check it out and remember this dude is 6-foot-9. Chara, drafted by the Islanders in 1996, has 12 points in the last 10 meetings with the Isles to boot. Boston has four lines that can score and all will punish you along the way.

Defensively the Bruins are simply top notch. Tuukka Rask is 5-0-1 in his last six starts, and has not given up more than two goals in regulation once during that stretch. Rask stopped 24 shots in the teams’ previous meeting to improve to 5-1-0 in his career against the Islanders.

The New York Islanders have been hot and cold this season but lately have shown signs that they may be ready to turn the corner. Wins over Montreal and New Jersey the last week has fans optimistic that this team can shed the doormat status they`ve had the last few years.

The reason? John Tavarez. He is tied for the League lead with 13 goals and has 12 assists, putting him in the top three in the NHL in total scoring. He was held off the scoresheet in Boston’s 4-2 home victory on Jan. 25, has 12 points in 13 career games versus the Bruins. Matt Moulson has also been very good of late. He has three goals and three assists in his last three games and is just another weapon in the Isles lineup to watch out for. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

Where the Islanders have struggled this season is in goals against. They give up 3.37 goals per game – not nearly good enough if they hope to take the next step. With Rick DiPietro in the minors, Kevin Poulin may get the start on Tuesday. He gave up four goals in his only start and gave up four goals on 27 shots.

Betting Prediction

A few trends to consider:

• BOS are 14-3 in their last 17 road games.
• BOS are 9-3 in their last 12 overall.
• Over is 6-2 in NYI last 8 vs. Eastern Conference.
• Over is 30-11-1 in NYI last 42 vs. Northeast.
• Over is 20-8-1 in NYI last 29 overall.
• BOS are 16-5 in the last 21 meetings.

The only thing that will slow the Bruins is the fact that they play their fifth straight game away from home Tuesday. They last played Sunday afternoon. The Islanders have had a knack of elevating their game against the top teams – they own wins over the Canadiens, the Penguins and the Devils this year. Despite their hideous home record this year, I like the Islanders show up Tuesday and provide the huge upset against another one of the east’s top tier teams. I love a home dog – what can I say?

Pick: New York Islanders +127

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