Atlantic Division bout caps night's action
A little more than 18 hours ago, Tuukka Rask was spectacular in the Bruins’ 5-0 triumph over Buffalo. Will the NHL-best Canadiens find any success against the Finnish goaltender this evening?
Two of the pre-eminent squads in the Eastern Conference square off at 7:30 p.m. ET. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives Montreal odds of -210 to take care of matters at home. Conversely, Boston enters Bell Centre as a +175 underdog.
While Rask’s 32-save performance grabbed most of the headlines last night, coach Claude Julien seemed just as pleased with his power-play unit. The Bruins went 3-for-8 on the man advantage vs. the Sabres. Forward David Pastrnak tallied one of those goals, pushing his season total to eight.
Carey Price obviously presents an entirely different challenge for the visitors. Yet the fact remains that the Habs have allowed 30-plus shots on net in each of the past five contests. On Friday, the Blue Jackets bludgeoned Michel Therrien’s club 10-0.
Considering the Canadiens’ less-than-crisp execution of late, we’re inclined to look beyond Rask’s 5-15-3 record in 24 career meetings with them. Boston’s tenacious forecheck should put ample pressure on a Montreal defensive corps that continues to learn how to live without P.K. Subban. Buckle up for a potential playoff preview.
TUESDAY NHL FREE PICK: BRUINS +1.5