NHL Pick And Matchup Of The Week

The 2019-20 National Hockey League season is off to a terrific start, and there are some terrific matchups on the schedule this weekend. The Boston Bruins head to Tampa Bay on Thursday night for a battle of two of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. This game is the NHL matchup of the week, and our pick and prediction is below.

The Boston Bruins have been extremely impressive all season long, although they have slowed up a bit. Boston has just one regulation loss all season long, and come into this week with 46 points. Tampa Bay got off to a slow start to the season, but they are starting to come on strong. The Lightning are now up to 31 points, but are still buried in the standings.

Lightning Can Really Score

The Tampa Bay Lightning continue to score goals like crazy, and that has been their best chance to win this season. The Lightning average over 3.7 goals per game, and that should be good enough to win on most nights. Right winger Nikita Kucherov leads the team with 10 goals, 21 assists, and 31 points, but he has plenty of help on this roster. The Lightning are going to have to try and solve a talented Boston defense in this game.

Defense and goaltending has been an issue for the Lightning this season, and that could spell trouble against a talented Bruins team. The Lightning are giving up over 3.2 goals per game, and that has to be a point of emphasis for them moving forward. Andrei Vasilevskiy is stopping over 90 percent of shots faced, but he can still be even better than that.

Bruins Have Talented Netminders

The Boston Bruins are giving up 2.3 goals per game this season, which makes them the toughest team to score on in the NHL. Boston has been terrific on the penalty kill all season long, and they also feature a terrific duo of goaltenders. Tuukka Rask and Juraslav Halak have combined for four shutouts already this season, and they have stopped close to 93 percent of shots faced.

Boston might not be as explosive as the Lightning are on offense, but they can score when needed. The Bruins are averaging 3.5 goals per game so far this season and David Pastnak and Brad Marchand are a big reason why. Pastrnak leads the NHL with 25 goals so far this season, and Brad Marchand leads the team with 44 points. Boston knows how to capitalize on mistakes from their opponents.

Bruins Knock off Lightning in Tampa

The Tampa Bay Lightning were the best regular season team in the NHL a season ago, but that title now belongs to Boston. Tampa Bay has continued to score a ton of goals, but their defense has been bad at times. The Bruins don't give up many goals, and they have a pair of talented goal scorers carrying their offense. Winning in Tampa Bay won't be easy, but the Bruins are good enough to get it done. Bet the Boston Bruins over the Tampa Bay Lightning in the NHL Matchup of the Week.