Ottawa Senators @ Boston Bruins – TD Garden at 23:00

My first NHL Handicap Betting preview of the week is an all-Atlantic affair. Boston welcome Ottawa to the Garden. The two sides are in third and second positions in the division respectively although the hosts are four points adrift of the Senators.

Out of sorts Sens

The Ottawa Senators have lost their last four games that has cooled off murmurings of becoming the first seed in the Atlantic. Luckily for the Senators they still have some breathing space as tonight’s opponents have also been in indifferent form. After missing out on the playoffs last year, this season is a success in Canada’s capital. Not many would have put the Sens down for a top three finish with Tampa and Florida in their division. However, their run of form will be a concern to head coach Guy Boucher. On the other hand, in those four losses Ottawa have picked up two points (via OT).

Kyle Turris leads the Senators in goals (23) he is three short of equalling his career best, nevertheless the centre had a full campaign in that season. The centre was drafted third overall, ten years ago. Patrick Kane was drafted first. Despite not being a superstar like Kane, Turris has developed into a quality two-way centre for Ottawa.

Erik Karlsson is the leader in both points (65) and assists (51) for the Sens.

New superstar in Beantown

The Boston Bruins have not been short of superstars over the years. With players such as Bobby Orr, Ray Bourque, Phil Esposito and Cam Neely. One Bruin looking to emulate those players of the past is Brad Marchand. The winger was already a favourite to the Boston faithful with his agitating yet effective play. Marchand is joint second in the league in points (80) and second in goals (37). The 28-year old has already equalled last season’s goal tally that saw him called up to play for Canada at the World Cup. He didn’t disappoint as he excelled on a line with fellow Bruin Patrice Bergeron and Sidney Crosby. To top it off the Halifax native scored the game-winning goal (shorthanded) in the final. Not many, myself included could have envisaged the transformation of Brad Marchand.

Notwithstanding, the Bruins have become too reliant on Marchand. He tallied one assist in yesterday’s loss to Toronto. The Maple Leafs have now closed the gap to just one point with a game in hand over Boston. With ten games of the regular season still remaining things will intensify over the next couple of weeks.

Prediction

Both sides are on active losing streaks and can solidify their post season status with a win tonight. The Sens have won both their games against Boston this season. In fact Ottawa are on a four-game winning streak against the Bruins. Their dominance over them stretches back just over a year. In spite of this I’m going against the form guide and predict that Boston will overcome their slump against the Senators. The Bruins have one of the premier offences with 207 goals and I can see them winning by more than one.

Handicap Betting Recommendation: Boston Bruins -1 at 2.45 (excluding OT)

Prices correct at time of writing

By @The_Drewse

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