Bruins vs. Islanders: Free Picks, Odds & Predictions

Bruins vs Islanders NHL
Boston vs. New York, TD Garden

For the first time in more than a month, it feels like the Boston Bruins are headed in the right direction as it relates to the injury curve. The Bruins are getting healthier at the right time as they enter this critical final month of the season clinging to the final playoff spot in the East Division. They are hoping to build some momentum Thursday when they host the New York Islanders, who have cruised through the season and are battling with Washington for the top spot in the division. The Islanders head to Boston as winners of five of their last six games and having beaten Boston in each of the first five meetings with the Bruins this season.

Free Picks

If I were going to pick a Bruins player in this spot, I would bet on Craig Smith at +300 odds to score for a fourth time in the last five games. But in a game that will be so low-scoring, I went even further off the board at the legal sports betting sites in New Jersey by selecting New York’s Oliver Wahlstrom at +350 odds. This is not a game where the big stars are likely going to shine, so it will be someone a little less known who will likely be making the biggest difference on offense. Wahlstrom has scored twice against the Bruins already this season, including in the last meeting on March 25. He hasn’t scored a point in the six games since that win over Boston, but he’s had at least three shots in four of his last five contests, and he’s strong around the goal, which is where teams tend to score against the Bruins this season.

OLIVER WAHLSTROM SCORES GOAL

As much as these two teams find themselves comfortable in low-scoring, tight-checking games, the five games this season between the pair haven’t necessarily been that. However, these two did play a pair of really low-scoring games already this season, and I expect more of the same in a playoff-like contest Thursday. Boston has scored two goals or fewer in regulation in six of its last 10 games, including the last three. The Islanders have scored two or fewer goals in regulation in six of their last seven contests, including the last five. The lack of offensive firepower and the defensive prowess from both teams leads me to bet on the +200 odds from the NHL betting sites in New Jersey that this will be a low-scoring game.

UNDER 4.5 TOTAL GOALS

Only one team has played in more overtime games this season than Boston’s 13 trips past regulation. The last two games between the Bruins and Islanders have required extra time and the Islanders are not a team that is known to dismantle the opposition. Three of New York’s last four wins were decided in either overtime or a shootout and the other was a 1-0 victory. The fact both Boston and New York tend to play low-scoring, tight games means it’s even more likely it will take more than 60 minutes to decide a winner. At +295 odds from the hockey betting sites in New Jersey, I like the risk that neither team will be able to win this contest in regulation.

GAME GOES TO OVERTIME

Best Odds

Boston New York
888Sport
-117 -105
FanDuel
-120 +102
BetMGM
-115 -105

Statistics

Head to Head

This is the sixth meeting of the season between Boston and New York after the Islanders have won each of the first five matchups this year.

Stats

  • Boston has the best penalty kill in the league this season with a 85.7 percent success rate while a man down. The Bruins are also very dangerous while down a man with seven shorthanded goals scored this year, second-most in the league, but face a Islanders team that is one of two in the NHL that has yet to allow a shorthanded tally. On the other side for the Bruins, their power play has allowed a league-high five shorthanded goals, a mark tied for four other teams.
  • The Islanders are the fifth-least penalized team in the NHL by minutes per game, but they have also faced the fewest power plays with just 103 in 42 games. However, New York also draws the fifth-fewest penalty minutes in the league and have only been on the power play 113 times this season, tied for sixth-fewest in the league.
  • Craig Smith is in the discussion for Boston’s best offensive player in the month of April with his dominance on the ice. In his last nine games, Smith has 13 points with three goals (all in the last four games) and 10 assists. He has five multi-point games in that stretch and has scored a point in seven of those games, including the last five entering Thursday.
  • Since Anders Lee went down with a season-ending injury on March 11, Mathew Barzal has continued to raise his level of play on the ice. He’s scored 14 points in 15 games since Lee’s injury to help the Islanders to a 10-5-0 record in their captain’s absence. In the 27 games prior to Lee’s injury, Barzal had scored 23 points with nine goals and 14 assists, compared to his four goals and 10 assists since the injury.

Our Prediction for Boston vs. New York

New York Islanders to win

What is quickly becoming one of my favorite statistics is just how much Barry Trotz has dominated the Boston Bruins over the last six seasons. Since Trotz became a head coach in the Eastern Conference in 2015-16, his teams have won 18 of the 23 games they have played against Boston. That stretch includes a perfect 5-0 record for the New York Islanders against the Bruins this season with three games left between the teams. To expect the Bruins to magically be able to solve the Islanders on Thursday is a tough ask considering Boston is just starting to get healthier throughout the lineup, and this is clearly a bad matchup for the Bruins.

NJ Legal Betting Sites

Betting Site
Bonus
Brand Features
Review
Bet Now
888Sport
Risk Free First Bet up to $500
Risk Free First Bet up to $500
Read Review
Sugar House Sportsbook
100% Up to $250
100% Up to $250
Read Review
FanDuel
Get A $1000 Risk Free Bet
Get A $1000 Risk Free Bet
Read Review
Borgata Sports
Get $100 When You Bet $20
Get $100 When You Bet $20
Read Review
BetMGM Sports
Risk Free First Bet Up To $600
Risk Free First Bet Up To $600
Read Review
Caesars Sportsbook
First Deposit Bonus up to $300
First Deposit Bonus up to $300
Read Review
Unibet Sportsbook
$20 Free Bets
$20 Free Bets
Read Review

Josh Walfish is an award-winning journalist who has been covering college and professional sports in the United States. He holds a journalism degree from Northwestern University and his work has appeared in the Miami Herald, Chicago Sun-Times and Providence Journal. He most recently chronicled the UMass hockey teams rise to prominence over the last two years for the local newspaper

All Reviews by Josh Walfish

BACK TO TOP