Penguins vs. Bruins: Free Picks, Odds & Predictions

Pittsburgh vs. Boston, PPG Paints Arena

Fans of great goaltending and good defense were treated to a fantastic game Sunday between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Boston Bruins. The two teams close out their season series Tuesday night and with playoff seeding on the line for both teams, I would expect another playoff-style performance from both sides. The Penguins earned the hard-fought 1-0 win Sunday to extend their winning streak to four games, but the Bruins have looked much stronger since the trade deadline and are looking to regain the form they had during their recent six-game winning streak.

Free Picks

Pittsburgh was able to muck up the middle of the ice for the Bruins when they had the puck, forcing Boston’s skill players to work from the outside. The Bruins are going to put an emphasis on getting to the net Tuesday and few players do it better for the Bruins than Nick Ritchie, who had scored in two straight games before Sunday. Ritchie is the type of gritty player who is able to quickly adapt to his linemates and he’ll need that with the lineup changes expected from Boston. He’s the type of scorer for whom goals tend to come in bunches, and he’s got the frame and work ethic to score the ugly goals for Boston. He’s an excellent off the board choice at the legal sports betting sites in New Jersey at +360 odds.

NICK RITCHIE SCORES GOAL

These are two teams that have been playing very well defensively as the Bruins have allowed one goal or fewer in five of their last seven games and Pittsburgh has allowed three goals total in its last three games. It was a playoff-like atmosphere when the two teams met Sunday, and I would expect a similar type of tight-checking, low-scoring contest again Tuesday because both teams are very comfortable in that style of game. Without much room for offenses to create, I would expect goals will again be at a premium, so I will roll with the +430 odds from the hockey betting sites in New Jersey that there will be less than 3.5 goals scored in this game.

UNDER 3.5 GOALS

In a season when these mini two-game series between the same opponent are more common than normal, the Bruins have been excellent at staying composed. Boston has not lost consecutive games to the same opponent all season long and it hasn’t had a three-game losing streak all season. The Penguins looked tough on Sunday and they are riding a four-game winning streak, but three of those wins came against the lowly Devils and Sunday’s game was a coin flip. With how evenly-matched these two teams have been all season, I would expect a split of these games to be a fair result. So I’ll bet on the Bruins to earn the split for +150 odds at the NHL betting sites in New Jersey.

BOSTON BRUINS WIN IN REGULATION

Best Odds

Pittsburgh Boston
888Sport
-113 -108
FanDuel
-106 -110
BetMGM
+100 -115

Statistics

Head to Head

This is the last of eight meetings this year between Pittsburgh and Boston with the Bruins holding a slim 4-3 lead in the season series between the two clubs.

Stats

  • In eight games since the trade deadline, the Bruins have returned to form defensively, allowing one goal or fewer five times and allowing more than three just once. Over that same stretch, the Bruins are averaging 35.5 shots per game and are scoring 3.4 goals per game to revive an offense that looked lifeless for long stretches during the season.
  • Since suffering a pair of ugly losses earlier this month in which they allowed a combined 15 goals, the Penguins are 8-1-1 to jump into the top spot in the East Division. Pittsburgh has scored 39 goals in those 10 games and allowed just 25 while converting on a third of its power play opportunities and killing off 84 percent of penalties.
  • Jake Guentzel’s team-leading 21st goal was the only goal in Sunday’s win, and was his first goal in six games. However, he had five assists in his previous three games entering Sunday and he now has points in 11 of his last 13 games. Overall, he has 52 points this season, four behind captain Sidney Crosby’s team-leading 56 points this year.
  • Since returning from injury, Tuukka Rask has won three of his four starts and posted a 2.17 goals against average and .931 save percentage for the Bruins. For the season as a whole, Rask has allowed two goals or fewer in 11 of his 19 starts and has a total save percentage of .913 this year.

Our Prediction for Pittsburgh vs. Boston

Boston Bruins to win

There isn’t a specific reason to pick the Boston Bruins in this game, but the Bruins have not been swept in these two-game series this season. Boston hasn’t lost three straight regular-season games since January 2020 and it’s not like the Pittsburgh Penguins were overwhelmingly the better team on Sunday. The Penguins are riding a four-game winning streak, but this is going to be the toughest game they have played during this recent run. Boston is a hungry team that is looking to finish the season strong and I don’t know if the Penguins’ defense can hold back the Bruins’ offense for much longer.

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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

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