Here are Today’s NHL Picks:
The Eastern Conference Final continues as the Boston Bruins battle the Carolina Hurricanes in a Mother’s Day afternoon clash. Game 2 expects to feature even more of a nasty edge to it than Game 1 did.
Our series preview is right here.
As always, the goalies are essential when it comes to making a prediction. They are the last line of defense after all. Game 1 showed that Tuukka Rask was still in fine form as he stopped all but two shots. The same could not be said for Petr Mrazek who yielded three goals in the third period as Boston won 5-2 over Carolina.
Can Petr Mrazek rebound in Boston this afternoon? It is entirely possible. Also, there is a bit of a growing concern that the Carolina goalie is still not 100% from the groin injury suffered during Game 2 if the New York Islanders series.
With the way both goalies are playing, this could be an intriguing series. Goals could come in bunches and then dry up rapidly. At 5 on 5, Carolina could score three or more goals while Boston uses their man advantage and suffocating style to score a lot of goals
Projected shots are expected to be right around 30 shots for each team. It comes down to which goalie has a quality start on Sunday afternoon. The growing feeling is that only one will.
Strength vs Strength:
Alas, this one is vital. It will be intriguing to see which top-six unit sustains its production from Round 2. The Sebastian Aho line was good at even strength but so was the Jordan Staal line at times.
One of the biggest problems Boston will have is trying to slow down that relentless forecheck that Carolina employs. Boston utilizes a version of its own but that check is predicated on building a lead.
The third line for both teams will be something to look at on Wednesday. Boston appears to be going with the same lineup as they did on Thursday while Carolina may tinker with theirs once more.
Game 2 Picks:
Our betting rationale is mixed for this game. The problem is Boston plays well normally, but weekend matinees can be a source of hesitation. This is a Bruins team that has been caught tired during a weekend game more than once before.
Expectations dictate that the teams should combine for less than 5.5 goals. More than likely, a 3-2 score is what could occur. Game 1 was basically a 3-2 contest before the empty net goal was scored. It just gets forgotten quickly given how south the game went on Carolina in the third period.
Boston averaged 3.37 goals per game during the season while they yielded just 2.41 goals per game at home. Carolina balanced out a bit when it came to its overall road metrics. One thing that has again remained consistent is the lack of a penalty kill and power play. Discipline is key in this series and whichever teams keeps their emotions in check stand a good chance of winning.
1u – BOS Bruins MoneyLine @ -153
1u – Under 5.5 total goals @ -133
By Chris Wassel