The playoff status of the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens have been decided, but the Habs could spoil the seeding Boston hopes to come away with an opportunity to avoid the Wild Card by hunting down the Tampa Bay Lightning with four games to play and a golden chance in Montreal.
Boston Seeks Road Kill
The Boston Bruins are in the playoffs for the 75th time in franchise history and with that comes strong play on away ice. Boston is 24-12-1-2 away from the TD Garden.
The Bruins look to sweep the Montreal Canadiens in their four-game series. Two of the previous wins covered the 1.5-goal spread, with one meeting requiring overtime. The over is 1-1-1 in those three meetings as well.
Boston’s offense generates the second-most chances in the NHL, averaging 36.2 shots per game. But the real mismatch is in the defensive zone, where the Bruins are fifth in goals allowed per game at 2.7, third in shots allowed per game at 28.8, and eighth in killing off power plays 82% of the time.
Boston’s first two lines are particularly strong. Left-winger Brad Marchand has a team-high 74 points lining up with the first line. He’s scored 31 goals and is second on the team in assists with 43. David Pastrnak is the right-winger on the second line and has 73 points, including a team-high 39 goals.
Montreal to play spoiler?
With an Eastern Conference worst 51 points, the Montreal Canadiens are already locked into a strong draft position and are a far cry from the NHL playoffs. Though a 10-25-3-1 home record, the Canadiens are 37-42 against the spread for the season.
The Habs would have to generate enough offense and try to keep the puck in the attacking third, putting pressure on Boston. That’s proven difficult for the Canadiens, the second-worst team in goals per game (2.5) and power play conversion rate (12.9%). Plus, defensively, they give up a league-worst 3.9 goals per game.
Taking it back to the overtime loss against Boston on March 21, Jake Allen had a tremendous outing in net. He stopped 43-of-46 shots (93.5%) with pressure consistently peppering him with the puck. Montreal will need another great performance between the pipes if they’re to have a shot.
The hope will be that center Nick Suzuki can create offensive opportunities either for himself or his teammates. He has a team-best 58 points with 20 goals and 38 assists. No other player has more than 40 points on Montreal.
Boston Bruins vs Montreal Canadiens Head-to-Head
The Boston Bruins have taken care of the head-to-head series this season by winning the first three games and can complete a sweep on Sunday. It would extend a six-game winning streak that dates back to Nov. 26, 2019.
The Montreal Canadiens last won on Nov. 5, 2019, and had another one-goal win the previous season on Jan. 14, 2019. Over the last ten games, the under has hit six times with one push.
Boston Bruins vs Montreal Canadiens Game Information
- Game: Boston Bruins (101 points, 48-25-3-2) vs. Montreal Canadiens (51 points, 20-48-9-2)
- Location: Centre Bell
- Time/Day: 7 p.m. ET, Sunday
- Television: NESN
- Live Stream: NHL TV
Boston Bruins vs Montreal Canadiens Betting Lines
Boston Bruins vs Montreal Canadiens Prediction
The good news for the Boston Bruins is David Pastrnak returned from an undisclosed injury. He and defenseman Hampus Lindholm (lower back injury) returned in Saturday’s 3-1 victory over the New York Rangers. In fact, Pastrnak scored a first-period goal and assisted on another.
There is no injury designation for either as they are set to play the Montreal Canadiens on a back-to-back. It’s a critical game to come away with three points and potentially tie the Tampa Bay Lightning (104 points) for the final divisional spot as the regular season comes to a close.
So far, the public money heavily favors the Bruins, with 83% of bets on their moneyline and 54% taking the over. But the Canadiens have shown they can be stingy defensively to force overtime, and getting to sudden death can create tricky situations.
However, Boston’s offense is just too good and back at full strength on both ends of the ice; even on a back-to-back with significant travel, the Bruins should be able to handle whatever the Canadiens throw at them.
When betting online, take the Bruins to cover!