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Buffalo Sabres vs. Boston Bruins Free Picks & NHL Preview

Sabres vs Bruins NHL Spread/Handicapping

The Boston Bruins play in what is the first major sporting event in Massachusetts since the Boston Marathon tragedy Monday. Heightened security and heavy hearts will unfortunately be a big part of the game between the Bruins and the Buffalo Sabres – sad that the focus won’t solely be on the joy that professional sports brings to New England.

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Buffalo Sabres (18-19-2-4) at Boston Bruins (26-11-2-2)
When: 7:30 PM ET, Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Where: TD Banknorth Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Broadcast: TSN2, NBCSN
Sabres vs. Bruins Betting Lines from Topbet
Buffalo Sabres +1½ -150 +190 Ov 5 -126
Boston Bruins -1½ +130 -210 Un 5 +114

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Headline: Bruins Play With Heavy Hearts on Wednesday Night

The Bruins and the Sabres have a ton to play for Wednesday. Both are fighting and trying to achieve different goals. For Boston, they will be looking to gain ground in the Northeast Division and the Sabres will be looking to get back to .500 and re-enter the Eastern Conference playoff picture. The Bruins have lost two straight games ahead of Wednesday night’s showdown but sit just one point back of Montreal for top spot in their division while the Sabres have quietly won five of seven to at least enter the playoff conversation. These teams have split four meetings this season, with Buffalo winning 7-4 in the only matchup in Boston on Jan. 31.

The Buffalo Sabres were left for dead a couple of weeks ago but somehow this team has rallied and has almost reached the .500 mark to get within striking distance of a playoff spot. Reaching the post season is still largely improbable but getting close seems like a victory for this underwhelming team.

The Sabres have fallen victim to questionable defense and goaltending during their down times this year. They score 2.47 goals per game and allow 2.88 – not exactly a recipe for success! It has been Jhonas Enroth that has been the difference lately for Buffalo however and surprisingly not Ryan Miller.

Enroth has won four of his past five starts for the Sabres with a 1.37 goals-against average and .958 save percentage and he stepped up over the weekend and stopped 61 of 62 shots in victories over the Flyers and Lightning. Enroth may start again Wednesday – Miller is 0-2-0 in his last two starts with a 4.29 GAA and .855 save percentage. [ad-4437448]

The big news out of the Bruins camp is that Patrice Bergeron is scheduled to return to action Wednesday after missing six games with a concussion. He is the Bruins third leading scorer and will be a welcome addition to a Boston team that still has a shot at the #2 seed in the East but is also in danger of losing out on home-ice advantage for the impending playoffs.

The Bruins, despite not having anybody lighting it up offensively average a decent 2.73 goals per game. Tyler Seguin has goals in three consecutive games for the Bruins, Jaromir Jagr has six assists during a four-game points streak and Andrew Ferrence has four points in his last four games. The Bruins would love to get Milan Lucic going – he has just two points in his last six games while Nathan Horton is pointless in three.

Defense and goaltending continue to define the Boston Bruins – the team allows just 2.17 goals per game. Tuukka Rask is just 2-3-0 in his last five games with a superb 1.81 GAA and .951 save percentage but he may give way to Anton Khudobin who is 3-0-0 in his last three 2ith a 2.00 GAA and .941 save percentage.

Betting Prediction

A few trends to consider:

• BUF are 3-8 in their last 11 road games.
• BOS are 8-2 in their last 10 home games.
• Under is 4-1-3 in BOS last 8 vs. Northeast.
• Over is 7-2 in BOS last 9 Wed. games.
• Over is 6-1-2 in the last 9 meetings in Boston.
• Over is 11-4-4 in the last 19 meetings.

In what is sure to be an emotional game in Boston, you’d have to think that the Bruins will give their best in front of their devastated home town crowd. I like the way Buffalo is playing at the moment but can’t see them overcoming the emotion that Boston is sure to bring. Buffalo has been poor on the road – Boston has been great at home. Take the favorite in this one to give the Boston faithful something to be happy about.

Pick: Boston Bruins -210


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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.