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Hawks, Bruins on NHL lines

Chicago is in desperation mode as they try to secure a playoff position at the tail end of the regular season, and they'll face the Northeast-leading and home favorite Boston Bruins in NHL betting action Tuesday night.

The Bruins are winners of three of their last four with 13 goals in that span. If you combine that kind of offense with the goaltending of Vezina candidate Tim Thomas you have a recipe for success.

Boston (-135 at Sportsbook.ag) will be the popular choice on the betting lines for Tuesday, but the Hawks (+115) will be nipping at the Bruins' heels.

Boston is a team that surrenders a lot of shots, so a road underdog wager on Chicago – the second-highest-scoring team in the league – could make sense at this juncture of the season and knowing what’s at stake.

The Blackhawks are potent on the power play and staying out of the penalty box could determine the Bruins' fate in this contest. But it’s the Bruins who have scored more with the man advantage in head-to-head meetings.

Chicago will also be missing some key pieces up front in David Bolland and Patrick Sharp, who are not easy to replace. This makes their chances tougher, but not impossible.

Boston holds a slight advantage head-to-head, but it’s Chicago who has won two straight between these Original Six rivals.

Totals betting could be at mach speed for UNDER bettors, with four straight Blackhawks games and three of the last four Bruins games sending them to the payout window.

On Wednesday night it’s the New York Rangers, who will be road underdogs, against the Buffalo Sabres in a matchup that could have implications on who finishes seventh or eighth in the Eastern Conference. And that could mean either Philly or Washington in the opening round of the playoffs.

The Rangers give up the third-fewest power plays in the league to go with the puck-stopping Henrik Lundqvist, who is the icing on the cake as far as NHL goaltenders are concerned.

Both the Rangers and Sabres are winners of four of their last five. The NHL betting lines could be split in this fourth head-to-head meeting of the season between the teams.

The Rangers are a respectable 23-18 as an underdog bet during the year and could be worth the wager. Buffalo, meanwhile, is just 21-20 as a favorite.

One betting trend comes in totals wagering, where the Rangers have had 42 games pay out to UNDER bettors this season. The teams have also rewarded UNDER bettors in the last two head-to-head meetings.

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