Boston Bruins (14-8-4) at Florida Panthers (10-10-5)
NHL: Tuesday, December 4th, 2018 at 7:00 pm (BB&T Center)
Line and Odds: Florida Panthers -115/Boston Bruins -105 Over/Under: 5.5
Free NHL Pick Florida Panthers vs. Boston Bruins
The Boston Bruins have been an up-and-down team over the last couple of weeks. In their last 16 games, they’ve notched 8 wins and 8 losses. The Bruins currently have a record of 14-8-4 and rank 4th in the Atlantic Division with 32 points. Boston is hoping to put its 4-2 home loss to Detroit behind them, as they take on the Florida Panthers. Prior to that loss, Boston was 15-1-2 in their last 18 games against Detroit. It’s usually not a good sign to lose to a team you usually dominate. It makes one wonder if Boston’s injuries are taking a toll on them. Unfortunately for Boston, they are a battered on defense from a health standpoint. Zdeno Chara has been out with a knee injury since November 16th. Charlie McAvoy has been on injured reserve since October 18th with a concussion. Kevan Miller has been out since November 29th with a throat injury. Despite the injuries, the Bruins boast the best defense in the NHL. They are 1st in the NHL in goals against with just 64 goals allowed. Boston is 1st in even strength goals against, allowing 43 of them in 26 games. The Bruins are 2nd in save percentage, saving .922 of their opponents’ shots. They have allowed 821 shots on goal, which ranks 16th in the NHL. They are most vulnerable defensively when it comes to power play defense. The B’s are just 22nd in the NHL in penalty killing percentage, with a PK% of 77.5%. The problem for opponents is that they don’t give up that many power play opportunities. Boston is tied for 8th in the NHL in terms of power play opportunities allowed with 80. The Boston Bruins offense isn’t nearly as strong as the defense. They’ve scored 71 goals this season, which ranks 26th in the NHL. The Bruins have scored just 45 even-strength goals, ranking 29th in the league. They rank 28th in shooting percentage, scoring on 8.6% of their shots. However, the offense is effective in power play situations. They are 4th in power play percentage, scoring on 28.92% of their power play opportunities. The Bruins are also 4th in power play goals scored with 24. RW David Pastrnak leads the Bruins with 19 goals. C Patrice Bergeron, LW Brad Marchand, and C David Krejci share the Bruins’ lead with 17 assists, but Bergeron is out with a shoulder injury.
The Florida Panthers should be well-rested after taking on a hectic recent schedule. The Panthers have been off since Saturday’s overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. It was their 5th game in 8 days, a stretch that included 2 separate back-to-backs. The Panthers have notched 3 wins in their last 10 games, compiling a record of 3-5-2. They are currently in the middle of an 8 game home-stand. The Panthers have gone 2-1-2 in the first 5 games of the home-stand with 4 of the games going to overtime. Florida blew multi-goal leads in both of the overtime losses in that 5 game stretch to lose 5-4. They had a 4-2 lead against the Chicago Blackhawks, and allowed the Blackhawks to score the final 3 goals of the game. Most recently, they had a 4-1 lead against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Tampa Bay scored the final 4 goals to win the game. Florida is 10-10-5 and last in the Atlantic Division with 25 points this season. They’re going to have learn to hold on to a lead in order to improve their standing. The Panthers defense has struggled all season long. They’ve allowed 91 goals this season, ranking 28th in the NHL. Florida ranks 30th in save percentage, stopping just .885 of the opponents’ shots. The Panthers are ranked 21st in both even strength goals allowed and power play goals allowed. They have given up 20 power play goals and 64 even strength goals this season. Their penalty killing percentage of 74.68% ranks just 27th in the league. The one positive thing about the Panthers defense is that they limit the chances of the opposing offense. They’ve allowed opponents to shoot 775 times, which ranks 7th in the NHL. They’ve only had 79 power play opportunities against, which ranks tied for 5th. The Panthers offense is much better than the defense. They’re tied for 15th in goals scored with 82. Florida is only 22nd in even strength-goals with 55. Their offense really excels in power play situations. They are 3rd in both power play goals scored with 26 and 3rd in power play opportunities with 97. Florida is 7th in power play percentage, scoring goals in 26.80% of their power play opportunities. LW Jonathan Haberdeau leads the Panthers with 22 assists. RW Evgeni Dadonov and LW Mike Hoffman share the Panthers’ lead in goals with 12.
Cover The Spread 365 Betting Trends
Boston is 2-5 SU in its last 7 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 9 of Boston’s last 11 games on the road
Boston is 19-6 SU in its last 25 games when playing Florida
Florida is 2-5 SU in its last 7 games
The total has gone OVER in 7 of Florida’s last 10 games
Florida is 6-16 SU in its last 22 games when playing at home against Boston
Free NHL Prediction Boston Bruins vs. Florida Panthers
I like Boston on the moneyline in this match-up. Even when injuries are factored in, I believe Boston should actually be favored against Florida. The Panthers will find it difficult to score goals on the Bruins defense. If Florida can create power play opportunities, they may be able to score out an extra goal or two. However, they will run into a brick wall when it comes to even-strength play. Boston’s offense isn’t great, but Florida’s defense is horrendous. The Panthers are near the bottom of the league in goals allowed and save percentage. The Bruins don’t exactly have a high-flying offense, but they can score on this team. I believe Boston will be able to take advantage of the Panthers power play defense, and they will win by 1 goal. Boston should be the slight favorite in this game.