The Boston Bruins and Colorado Avalanche, the betting favorites to win the Stanley Cup, will square off twice in the span of six days, including Saturday in Boston.
The defending champion Avalanche (+500) maintain a slight edge in the wagering, but the Bruins (+600) have been gaining ground fast thanks to a 19-3 start, including wins in all 13 of their home games, which is an NHL record to start the season.
Behind the exploits of right wing David Pastrnak, captain Patrice Bergeron, defenseman Hampus Lindholm and goaltender Linus Ullmark, the Bruins lead the NHL in goals per game (3.95) and goals against per game (2.18) and that latter number shrinks to a miniscule 1.62 in home games, which, remarkably, is just second best in the league.
Pastrnak is in the top 10 in the NHL in goals (14) and points (32), Bergeron is winning 60% of his face-offs, Lindholm ranks second in the league in plus/minutes (+20) while Ullmark leads the NHL in save percentage (.935), goals against average (2.00) and wins (13), but is currently just the co-third choice in the Vezina Trophy betting at +650.
The Avalanche shook off an early Stanley Cup hangover, which resulted in a 4-4-1 start and three one-goal losses,, by winning nine of their last 12 contests.
The biggest improvement has come from goaltending tandem Alexandar Georgiev and Pavel Francouz, who had a 2.27 goals against average and .931 save percentage in November after producing a 3.30 GAA and .917 save percentage in October.
Georgiev, who is expected to start, has allowed nine goals in his last two games.
Hall Ends Goal Drought
Goals were hard to come by for Taylor Hall during the month of November, but the veteran left wing scored twice in Tuesday’s win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The former No. 1 overall pick in 2010, who hadn’t had a two-goal game since the 2020-21 regular season finale, managed one goal in the previous 11 games.
Hall, who has a 61.08% 5-on-5 expected goal rate at home compared to 45.73% on the road, has been playing on the third line and the second power-play unit for the Bruins, which has meant him playing a career-low 16 minutes per game on average.
“He is accepting of the fact that I’m using him on the third line and we’re using him on the second power play because that is what’s best for the Boston Bruins,” head coach Jim Montgomery told the media. “I can’t say enough about his exemplary attitude.”
Scoop on Free Play from the Locker Room
Avalanche need to hit on power play
The Avalanche are going to need their top-rated power play (33.77%) firing on all cylinders if they are going to become the first team to escape Boston with a victory.
In their wins, the Avalanche has capitlized on 41.7% percent of their power plays, which is also the top rate in the league, but that number drops to 17.9% in their losses.
Nathan MacKinnon, J.T. Compher and Artturi Lehkonen scored on the man advantage in the Avalanche’s 6-4 win over the Buffalo Sabres Thursday.
Boston has the third-best penalty kill in the league at 83.53%
Avalanche vs Bruins Game Injuries
Avalanche vs Bruins Head-to-Head
The Bruins and Avalanche split a pair of games last season, with both teams winning at home. Boston leads the all-time series 80-66-15, including 37-33-9 at home, but the Avalanche have enjoyed the advantage since the turn of the century (20-9-1).
Avalanche vs Bruins Information
- Game: Avalanche (13-7-1) vs Bruins (16-3)
- Location: TD Garden, Boston, MA
- Day/Time: Saturday, Dec. 3, 7 p.m. ET
- Avalanche vs Bruins Live Stream: NHL TV
Avalanche vs Bruins Betting Lines
Avalanche vs Bruins Picks & Prediction
The NHL lines havethe Bruins going to 14-0 at home as they are -160 on the money line.
Seven of the last nine games for the Avalanche have finished under the total. Under has hit on 6 of the last 10 games for the Bruins, who are 17-5 against the puck line this season.