Vancouver Canucks (+120) at Boston Bruins (-150, 5.5 o/u)
Once comfortably in the top eight, the Boston Bruins are suddenly in a dog-fight for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Thanks to a recent six-game losing streak and a 3-5-2 record in their past ten, the Bruins are now just three points up on ninth-place Florida. The team managed an impressive 6-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks last time out, though, and will look to make it two in a row tonight when they host the Vancouver Canucks at TD Garden (7:00 p.m. Eastern).
The team was relieved to see the losing skid end against the Blackhawks.
“It was nice to see us stay focused no matter what, and just be strong mentally and find a way to keep pushing the pace,” Bruins center Patrice Bergeron said. “It was definitely a tough situation. It was a little harder this time around. Hopefully, we can build from what we’ve done today.”
The Canucks are currently on a five-game Eastern road trip; they have already downed the Rangers and Islanders, but lost the New Jersey Devils. Their win over the Islanders was an impressive 4-0 showing, but the team lost starting goalie Ryan Miller to injury.
“That was a big game to help us believe what we’re trying to do as a team,” said Canucks coach Willie Desjardins, who offered no update on Miller’s condition. “We battled and [backup goalie Eddie] Lack made some unreal saves.”
The injury to Miller was the latest in a string for the Canucks, who will be without three of their top four defensemen (Kevin Bieksa, Alex Edler, and Chris Tanev), two of their top three centers (Brad Richardson and Nick Bonino), and one of their top wingers (Alex Burrows).
Despite the injuries, the Canucks have kept their ship afloat and currently sit second in the Pacific Division with 71 points.
Trend-wise, Vancouver is 18-8-1 against Eastern Conference teams this season, and Boston is 10-10-4 against the West. Keep in mind the home team has won the last three games in this series, and three of the last four have gone over the game total.
(Photo credit: By Lisa Gansky (Flickr: IMG_6630) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.)