Pittsburgh Penguins and the Boston Bruins will face each other in Thursday’s action of the NHL 2021-22. The home side looks forward to improving its form since they haven’t played well lately. The visitors started the winning streak, which they want to extend.
Pittsburgh has been pretty inconsistent recently, and they’ve been hit or miss over the past few weeks. Nevertheless, they return to the home ice, hoping they can stabilize their game. On the other hand, Boston heads on another trip after being successful on their previous one. The away side will search for a similar outcome, as they can still improve their position on the standings.
Pittsburgh Penguins – Can they stabilize their form?
The Penguins have been experiencing some troubles over the past few weeks since they booked only three wins on the previous ten occasions. Nevertheless, they are still 3rd in the Metropolitan Division with a 43-23-11 record, but the Capitals managed to level up with them. Pittsburgh will face the Bruins for the second time in a row since these two sides have already met on Saturday. Boston was more successful in that game, celebrating a 2-1 victory. Although the Penguins’ defense was pretty disciplined, they could have been more clinical in front of the opposition’s net.
Sidney Crosby leads the Penguins’ offense with 80 points, while Jake Guentzel tops the scoring charts with 37 goals, contributing with a total of 78 pts. Kris Letang has a team-high 55 assists and 63 points, while Bryan Rust needs just two more to enter the 60s. Evan Rodrigues and Jeff Carter managed to produce 40+ pts each, while three other players chipped in with 30 or more points. On the goal, Tristan Jarry has been the first-choice goalie for the Penguins, making 58 appearances and having a .919 save percentage. However, he won’t be able to help his teammates in this game since he’s injured.
Expected Line-Up: Tristan Jarry, Kris Letang, John Marino, Sidney Crosby, Jake Guentzel, Bryan Rust
with best odds
Boston Bruins – Will they extend their run?
The Bruins managed to break their run of defeats, and they booked two straight wins. After beating the Penguins, they were also better than the St. Louis Blues in a 3-2 overtime win. Boston was more dominant in the offense, having 13 shots more than their opponents, but they eventually cracked them in overtime. The Bruins are now at a 47-24-5 record, being fourth in the Atlantic Division but just one point below the Lightning.
Brad Marchand is the Bruins’ most efficient player in the offense with a total of 73 points, while David Pastrnak is the team’s best scorer with 38 goals having 71 pts. Patrice Bergeron and Taylor Hall have contributed with 56 points each, while Charlie McAvoy tops the assists charts with 44. Charlie Coyle and Erik Haula entered the 40s, while another two skaters chipped in with 30+ points. On the other hand, Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman have split their time between the pipes, making 38 appearances each.
Expected Line-Up: Jeremy Swayman, Derek Forbort, Charlie McAvoy, Taylor Hall, Charlie Coyle, David Pastrnak
Expert Pick #1 – Bruins to win (Inc. OT and Pen.) @+105
The Penguins cannot be happy with their current form, and Boston has played better hockey over the past month. Although it’s going to be a close encounter, I’m going to take the visitors at the plus money odds as my first pick.
Expert Pick #2 – Under 6 @-115
Both teams have been disciplined in defense this season, while their last four head-to-head matches stayed under a 6 margin. This one shouldn’t be much different, and I don’t see these two sides producing more than six goals in total. Give me the Under as the second bet.
Expert Pick #3 – Penguins Under 3.5 @-160
Pittsburgh didn’t do much in the offense in the previous clash of these two teams. Since the Bruins are pretty hard to crack, I don’t expect the hosts to find the back of the net more than three times. Although the odds are not very high, this is going to be my third pick.