NHL Betting Matchup of the Week: Pittsburgh Penguins at Boston Bruins

The National Hockey League is getting close to their annual All Star Game, but there is still some work left to be done. Our NHL betting matchup of the week takes us to Boston on Thursday night when the Bruins host the Pittsburgh Penguins. These two teams have built up a nice rivalry over the years, and this game has some playoff implications.

Boston comes into the week with 65 points and they sit in first place in the Atlantic Division. The Bruins have also won three straight games, and they are starting to get healthy again. Pittsburgh enters the week having won three straight hockey games, and they are starting to click. The Penguins come into the week with 61 points, and are in second place in the Metropolitan Division.

Bruins Just Don't Allow Many Goals

The Boston Bruins play a very simple style of hockey, but it has worked very well this season. Boston loves to control the puck in the offensive zone, and then wall up when on defense to prevent goals against. The Bruins are giving up just 2.46 goals against per game, and that makes them extremely tough to beat. Goaltenders Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak split time in net, but both of them have been terrific.

Right Winger David Pastrnak and Left Winger Brad Marchand are both having monster seasons to lead the Bruins on offense. Pastrnak leads the team with 35 goals and 65 points, while Marchand leads the way with 42 assists. The Bruins are scoring on close to 28 percent of their power play opportunities, and they are deadly if they are given the opportunity.

Penguins Need Better Special Teams

If the Pittsburgh Penguins are going to make a run at the Stanley Cup, then they are going to have to improve their special teams. Pittsburgh is converting on just 18 percent of their chances on the power play, and their penalty kill has really struggled at times. Not having Sidney Crosby in the lineup has played a role, but the Penguins must have to find a way to make these numbers look better.

Center Evgeni Malkin has been carrying the Penguins this season, and he leads the team with 31 assists and 44 total points. Jake Guentzel leads the team with 20 goals, but he needs some help finding the back of the net. Pittsburgh will try to speed the tempo up in this game, but that's easier said than done against the Bruins.

Bruins Too Much For Penguins at Home

There is a very good chance that this game is a playoff preview, and both teams have been playing great hockey of late. The number between these two teams are very similar, but the Bruins are the much better team on paper. Boston has two of the best forwards in the NHL on their team, and their goaltending is terrific. Pittsburgh will keep it close, but the Boston Bruins over the Pittsburgh Penguins in the NHL Betting Matchup of the Week.