Last night was a bit wacky for NHL betting, with both the Senators and Red Wings winning by multiple goals, but the biggest surprise of all may have been the New York Islanders scoring seven goals against the Boston Bruins.
The Bruins will try to shake off that awful performance as they suit up the very next day and take on the New York Rangers who have some problems of their own to address.
We bring you our best free Bruins vs. Rangers picks and predictions for Friday, February 26, with the puck dropping at 7 p.m. ET.
Boston Bruins at New York Rangers betting preview
Bruins: David Krejci C (Out), Kevan Miller D (Out), Jeremy Lauzon D (Out), Matt Grzelcyk D (Out), Ondrej Kase RW (Out).
Rangers: Artemi Panarin LW (Out), Kaapo Kakko RW (Out), K'Andre Miller D (Out), Jacob Trouba D (Out), Filip Chytil C (Out).
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Betting trend to know
Bruins are 6-0 in the last 6 meetings. Find more NHL betting trends for Bruins vs. Rangers.
NHL sharp money and line movement reportBy Patrick Everson
Boston opened as a -170 favorite at PointsBet USA, went to -180 midmorning and remains that price as of 4 p.m. ET. The Bruins are taking 81 percent of bets and 86 percent of cash on the moneyline. The total opened at 5.5 (Over -115), saw the O/U price dip to -110 flat for a couple of hours, then went back to Over -115 this afternoon. The Over is attracting 62 percent of bets/75 percent of handle.Check out the full line movement for this game
That result was shocking not just because the Islanders were one of the lowest-scoring teams in the NHL, but the Bruins had allowed the third-fewest goals per contest. Boston should be in a good spot to return to its typically-stingy defensive play tonight as it faces a Rangers squad that now ranks 27th in the NHL in scoring with 2.47 gpg.
The Blueshirts have struggled to put the puck in the net all season, but losing leading scorer Artemi Panarin has exacerbated that problem. Panarin is currently on a personal leave from the team after allegations of assault dating back to 2011 surfaced in Russia – reports that the Rangers say are intimidation tactics being used against the star winger for his criticism of the Russian government.
Boston will also be giving a day off to Jaroslav Halak who was in nets for all seven goals last night. That means former Vezina Trophy winner Tuukka Rask with his 7-2-1 record and 2.56 GAA will get the nod.
Despite that loss last night, the Bruins are 10-4 in their last 14 games and 5-2 in their previous seven contests on the road. Meanwhile, the Rangers are just 2-5 in their last seven games overall, a span that includes two losses at home to the Bruins. That makes Boston a commanding 6-0 in the previous six meetings between these Eastern Conference foes.
It's never easy playing on the road on the tail end of a back-to-back, but with the top team in the East Division facing off against a struggling squad missing its best player, we're not overthinking this one. Back the visitors.
PREDICTION: Boston (-165)
Despite surrendering seven goals last night, the Bruins still rank sixth in the league by holding foes to 2.53 goals per game. Their defense also makes their goaltenders' jobs as easy as possible, allowing the fewest shots per game in the NHL.
That's bad news for a Rangers squad that ranks just 28th in shooting percentage. The Blueshirts are near the bottom of the league in both scoring and on the power play, where they rank 26th by converting on just 14.9 percent of all opportunities with the man advantage.
Luckily for the Rangers, they're much better on the penalty kill, where they rank eighth. And although netminder Alexandar Georgiev has been inconsistent and hasn't played in more than a week, he's coming off a pair of solid performances where he turned aside 49 of 54 shots against the Flyers and Bruins.
Betting trends also point in the same direction. The Bruins are 14-6 to the Under in their last 20 games on the road, while the Rangers have been the league's best Under bet this season going 5-12 O/U. With the Under also cashing in four straight contests in the head-to-head, back it again.
PREDICTION: Under 5.5 (-115)
Bruins vs Rangers betting card
- Boston (-165)
- Under 5.5 (-115)
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