November 19, 2013 at 2:02 PM #52974
Qbin Missile CrisisKeymaster
Marquee Matchup on Broadway –
The Boston Bruins, off a 4-1 win last night head to the Big Apple Tuesday to take on a New York Rangers team that has been playing better of late but still has struggled to score goals. This will be the first meeting of the season between the two clubs – the first since the Bruins eliminated the Rangers in last year’s playoffs.
Boston (12-6-0-1) at NY Rangers (10-10-0-0)
When: 7:30 PM ET, Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Broadcast: TSN, NBCSN, NESN, MSG 2
Bruins vs. Rangers Betting Lines from betonline.com
Boston Bruins +1½ -300 +107 Ov 5 +111
New York Rangers -1½ +250 -118 Un 5 -122
Tuesday night could mark the long-awaited return of Rick Nash to the lineup for the Rangers – his leadership and goal scoring prowess should certainly help the Rangers out of their scoring doldrums.
The Boston Bruins, to nobody’s surprise are ascending to the elite in the NHL once again. They are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games and are coming off a terrific win last night against the Carolina Hurricanes. The team is as well rounded as ever – they are scoring 2.80 goals per game and they are allowing just 1.80 goals per game – a perfect recipe for success!
Loui Eriksson had an assist Monday, extending his point streak to six games (two goals, five assists) and Milan Lucic has two goals in the past three games to lead the way offensively. Some more touch from Jarome Iginla would be nice – he has just three points in nine games while Brad Marchand has just one point in four games.
Goaltending and defense are once again the strength of the Bruins. Tuukka Rask is 4-1-0 with a stellar 1.40 GAA and .950 save percentage in his last five starts. He may rest in the back end of back-to-backs. Backup Chad Johnson could get the start in net against New York. 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.
News flash – the Rangers are struggling to score! They have played two straight 1-0 games – winning one and losing the other. New York is averaging just 2.10 goals per game this year and now has the task of going up against one of the best defenses in the land.
Rangers center Brad Richards has six points in as many games (one goal, five assists) but that’s about it offensively for the Rangers. Michael Del Zotto and Ryan Callahan each have just one point in their last four games, Carl Hagelin is pointless in three and Benoit Pouliot hasn’t hit the score sheet in seven – yuk! Rick Nash could return tonight (no definitive word yet) and his addition will be a necessary step if the Rangers hope to take the next step.
Henrik Lundqvist started the season slowly but recently has put up terrific numbers. In his last seven starts he has a sparkling 1.58 GAA and .944 save percentage. His record over that span? 4-3-0 – the Rangers just aren’t supporting him. Lundqvist seems to save his best for the Bruins however posting a 21-7-2 mark with six shutouts and a razor-thin 1.67 goals-against average.
A few trends to consider:
• Under is 6-2-1 in BOS last 9 road games.
• Under is 37-18-13 in BOS last 68 overall.
• NYR are 7-1 in their last 8 vs. Eastern Conference.
• NYR are 14-5 in their last 19 home games.
• NYR are 7-3 in their last 10 overall.
• BOS are 4-13 in the last 17 meetings in New York.
• Under is 16-7-3 in the last 26 meetings.
I have harped on the Rangers goal-scoring woes – a date with the NHL’s best defensive team certainly won’t cure those ails. The only thing that will slow Boston down tonight is exhaustion after playing last night. That said you have to love Boston as an underdog in this one. The Bruins are just too solid in every aspect of the game to be denied. In a low scoring game, I like the visiting team.
Pick: Boston Bruins +107
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