It’s all about the Eastern Conference on tonight’s NHL docket. The beasts of the east meet the least of the east, as the Toronto Maple Leafs host the Ottawa Senators, and the Boston Bruins take on the New York Rangers. There are only two contests, but still a plethora of chances to win some money! Here is our complete betting rundown for the night.
Ottawa Senators @ Toronto Maple Leafs
The Toronto Maple Leafs (67 points) currently sit in second in the Atlantic Division, behind only the Tampa Bay Lightning (81 points). The Ottawa Senators, meanwhile, trail all Eastern Conference teams by at least four points. Believe it or not, this is only the second meeting on the season between these two teams. Ottawa took the first game back in early October, when the Senators surprised the entire league with their hot start. It has been a much different story ever since that win. Ottawa has plummeted to the bottom of the conference, behind some of the worst defense in the league. The team has surrendered nearly 20 more goals than any team in the east. And despite one of Matt Duchene’s finest seasons, Ottawa has failed to produce offensively as well.
The Senators are on a four-game skid, while the Maple Leafs have won two in a row. Needless to say, it’s no surprise the Leafs are huge favorites here (-340), according to Bovada. The over/under expected goal total is also higher than the other matchup tonight. It wouldn’t be a bad idea at all to pounce on over 6.5 total goals (-125). The teams surpassed this mark the last time they played. Both starting goalies are expected in net, but dropping Auston Matthews back down to the second line alongside Kasperi Kapanen and Patrick Marleau should give the Leafs a more balanced attack. Plus, this will be Matthews first action since signing a monster contract extension that made him one of the league’s highest paid players. He’ll be eager to show Leafs’ management what the next five years of Toronto hockey will look like.
Boston Bruins @ New York Rangers
The Boston Bruins and New York Rangers are exactly where they were projected to be before the season. The B’s are in a playoff spot, and the Rangers are enduring those inevitable growing pains. New York isn’t mathematically eliminated from postseason contention, but making up a nine-point gap with four teams to jump seems unlikely. New York is expected to give Henrik Lundqvist the night off, in favor of backup Alexandar Georgiev. The 22-year-old netminder has struggled, as expected, this season. He currently boasts a 3.28 GAA and .897 save percentage for the year. Now, that could mean the Bruins could have an offensive breakout, or the team may continue to underwhelm in the scoring department.
Because of Boston’s lack of offensive fire power and defensive prowess, the under on six goals (-120) is a smart bet, even with the youngster in New York’s crease. There are also a few intriguing lines to consider at the end of the game. Boston should win this game, but a blowout might be far-fetched. Boston has failed to score more than three goals in each of their past five games. They’ve been held to two or less in three of those contests. Consider a winning margin of the Bruins by one goal (+550) or by two goals (+650). It’s not a stretch at all to think Boston will nurse a one-goal lead late in the third, then add an empty-netter to cap off the victory.