The Boston Bruins (24-13-2) have the unenviable task of playing tonight in Colorado where the Avalanche (29-8-3) haven’t lost since November 3. The Avs have won 16 consecutive games at Ball Arena and have registered a point in 18 straight home games. Check out more insight, analysis and a Bruins vs Avalanche prediction below.
Bruins vs Avalanche Odds & Analysis
It’s not very often the Bruins are an underdog to this extent, but the Avalanche opened as -175 favorites and that line has gotten bigger as puck drop gets closer. Colorado’s home dominance and the fact it has won six of the last seven head-to-head meetings are two likely reasons. As for the total, it opened at 6 and appears to be steady at that number.
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Line Shuffling Paying Dividends For Bruins
The Bruins are one of the hottest teams since the calendar flipped, winning 10 of 13 games, and that is thanks in large part to a hunch by head coach Bruce Cassidy. After returning from the COVID/holiday break, he moved David Pastrnak off the Perfection Line and onto a line with Taylor Hall and Erik Haula. The switch has worked wonders for Pastrnak, who has 12 goals so far this month after scoring just eight in his first 26 games. Meanwhile, Hall is averaging a point per game and Haula has 10 of his 15 points since the creation of this line.
Boston is hoping goaltender Tuukka Rask finds his game soon. In four starts since returning from hip surgery, he has gone 2-2 with a goals-against average of 4.29 and a save percentage south of .850.
The team’s leading scorer, Brad Marchand, didn’t practice Tuesday and will likely be a game-time decision as he continues to nurse an upper-body injury.
Avalanche Are Getting It Done At Both Ends Of The Ice
If the Bruins are hot since the new year, then the Avalanche are on fire. They have won seven straight games and are 12-0-1 since the restart, outscoring opponents 52-27 during that stretch.
The Avs have two players in the top seven in league scoring and neither is named Nathan MacKinnon. Nazem Kadri sits fifth with 52 points and is on pace to obliterate his career high, while Mikko Rantanen is tied for seventh with 49 points, including 16 in his last 11 games. As for MacKinnon, he is fourth in points per game as he missed some time earlier this season due to injury.
Colorado is also getting some great goaltending of late. Darcy Kuemper is 10-0-1 in his last 11 decisions while Pavel Francouz has shutouts in each of his last two starts.
The Avalanche are averaging 4.10 goals per game, tops in the league, and are the current favorites to win the Stanley Cup at +500.
Bruins vs Avalanche Pick & Insights
Bruins: Keys To Victory
Win the special-teams battle. Boston’s power play runs at over 25 percent and shares the sixth-best success rate in the NHL. And if the Avs do have a weakness, it’s their penalty kill, ranking 27th in the league at 75 percent. If the Bruins’ top players can capitalize with the man advantage and they get strong goaltending, then you may want to take the underdog when contemplating your Bruins vs Avalanche pick.
Avalanche: Keys To Victory
Continue getting offense from the defense. Cale Makar is averaging over a point per game in his last 10 contests and Devon Toews has 11 points in his last 11 games. We know Colorado has a lot of firepower, so if the Avs continue to get contributions from the back end as well as their depth forwards, they will be tough to beat.
Odds Shark’s Computer Bruins vs Avalanche Prediction: Avalanche -180
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