Bruins Pointing Toward Playoffs
The Bruins clinched the Presidents’ Trophy and home-ice advantage throughout the Stanley Cup playoffs following Thursday’s overtime win over Nashville. The focus will be preparing for a run to the franchise’s first Stanley Cup title since 2011.
Pittsburgh would be the opponent in the first round of the playoffs at the current time. Pittsburgh is one point ahead of Florida for the second and final wild-card spot. The Penguins have seven games left to play (three against teams currently holding down playoff spots) while Florida has six games remaining with the last two versus teams that have clinched postseason berths.
The Penguins haven’t exactly been steamrolling to a playoff spot, going 7-7-1 in March and being outscored 52-46 in those games. Pittsburgh is 3-6 over the last nine games and 1-3 against teams currently in the playoff structure.
Boston has been on cruise control with a commanding lead in the NHL standings. The last four games have been decided by one goal with the Bruins going 3-1 in those contests, so keep that in mind when making NHL picks.
When looking at some of the NHL news, forwards Nick Foligno and Taylor Hall are set to miss their 16th and 18th straight game and defenseman Derek Forbort won’t play again during the regular season for the Bruins.
For Pittsburgh, forward Nick Bonino as well as defensemen Dmitry Kulikov, Marcus Pettersson and Jan Rutta are out for the season.
According to the NHL odds, the Bruins (+350) have the best odds to win the Stanley Cup title. Pittsburgh (+4000) is tied for 13th in the championship odds.
Looking for a Power Surge
It is hard to find too much fault with a Boston team challenging the NHL records for wins and points in a season.
However, more might be needed from the power play when the playoffs get underway.
Boston finished 26th out of 32 teams in power play percentage in the month of March. The Bruins have eight goals with the man advantage over the last 15 games and more concerning are the three short-handed goals allowed.
David Pastrnak leads the way with three power-play goals with Patrice Bergeron contributing two goals and two assists on the power-play in March. Pastrnak is second only to Edmonton’s Connor McDavid with 53 goals this season after he scored in overtime in Thursday’s win over Nashville.
The two that got it done. pic.twitter.com/ktovOl1AK7
— p – Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) March 31, 2023
The Las Vegas odds total has gone under in five of Boston’s last six games.
U.S. Players Making Impact
For years, the key goals for the Pittsburgh Penguins at this time of the year tended to be scored by Nova Scotia native Sidney Crosby or Russia’s Evgeni Malkin.
While Malkin and Crosby are among the four Penguins who had at least 13 points in the month of March, Pittsburgh has been relying on American-born players to light the lamp.
Nebraska-born Jake Guentzel led the team with 10 goals, Californian Jason Zucker had nine, and Michigan-born defenseman Jeff Petry scored twice with Bryan Rust, Drew O’Connor, Ryan Poehling and Chad Ruhwedel having one goal each. That has resulted in U.S. products accounting for 25 goals in the month.
More will be needed from all of them as the Penguins take aim as a playoff spot.
The NHL betting lines total has gone under in four of Pittsburgh’s last six home games.
Bruins vs Penguins Game Injuries
Bruins vs Penguins Head-to-Head
Boston has won both games this season, each of them by one goal. Defenseman Hampus Lindholm capped a four-point game with the overtime winner in a wild 6-5 road win on Nov. 1 that finished over the total.
Jake DeBrusk scored both of Boston’s goals in the rematch as the Bruins won 2-1 at Fenway Park in the Winter Classic.
The teams had alternated wins in the previous 10 matchups with the home team winning six times.
Ten of the last 13 games between the Bruins and Penguins finished under the total.
Bruins vs Penguins Game Information
- Game: Bruins (58-12-5) vs Penguins (36-28-10)
- Location: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, PA
- Day/Time: Saturday, April 1, 3 p.m. ET
- Bruins vs Penguins Live stream: NHL.TV
Bruins vs Penguins Betting Lines
Bruins vs Penguins Picks and Prediction
Heading into the final day of the month, Boston and Pittsburgh were tied for the NHL lead with power play opportunities in March. The last time the teams played, there were seven man-advantage situations and only one power-play goal. It was a key one as Brad Marchand’s goal began the Bruins’ comeback from three goals down. Boston won the game in overtime.
The Bruins have done a reasonably good job keeping the Pittsburgh captain from lighting the lamp as he has six goals in the last 22 regular-season games against the Bruins. He does have 16 assists during that stretch. During that game stretch, Boston’s David Pastrnak has 10 goals and 13 assists.
Pittsburgh plays its best at home with 21 of the 37 wins coming on home ice. However, the Bruins lead the NHL with 27 road wins. Expect the Penguins to play like their season is riding on this game.
Pittsburgh has covered 10 of its 37 home games, while Boston is 23-14 against the spread on the road.
The Bruins are 50-12-5 when listed by the sportsbook as the favorite. Pittsburgh is 3-16-2 as the underdog.
The Boston Bruins are listed at -135 in our Las Vegas hockey odds. This means that if you wager $100 on the Bruins, you have a chance to win $74. Pittsburgh is +115, offering a chance to win $115 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives the Boston Bruins a 57.45% chance to win, with the Pittsburgh Penguins at 46.51%.