The Boston Bruins are favored at home on Thursday night, as they host the Dallas Stars on NBCSN. It is another must-win game for the Bruins who are trying to get the last Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. Boston will be facing a Dallas team that has done really well lately in the role of spoiler, as the Stars beat San Jose twice last week. The Bruins have won six of the last ten against Dallas, including 6-3 in Dallas last month.
At 7:30 p.m. ET, tune into NBCSN for live television coverage of this NHL game on Thursday, March 30, 2017, at TD Garden.
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This is the third game of a five-game road trip for Dallas, as they were in New Jersey on Sunday and at Montreal on Tuesday. The Stars have been awful on the road this season, going 10-26 with 18 going over and 18 going under.
The Bruins have had one day off to get ready for this game, as they were home against Nashville on Tuesday. The Bruins were 19-16 in their first 35 home games with 17 going over, 15 going under with three pushes.
The Bruins are in a big fight for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, so they can’t afford to lose games like this one on Thursday. Boston got a huge win on Saturday against the Islanders that was a must-win and they did it with backup Anton Khudobin playing in place of the injured Tuukka Rask. That win broke a four-game losing streak for the Bruins and gave them hope.
“That’s the type of win that goes a long way in the room when your goaltender is battling hard and fighting that hard to see pucks and find pucks and your D are blocking shots. And you kill that many penalties. It was a nice building block for us,” said head coach Bruce Cassidy. “From the goalie on out, everybody was in there [in the win]. It was a tough game. It was a nice Bruins win. We had been doing it with offense earlier, and we’ve got to be able to do it both ways. You need to be able to win 2-1 hockey games, and it had been awhile.”
Dallas is just 23rd in the league on the power play at 17.7% but they still have scored 2.8 goals per game, which is 14th in the league. The problem for Dallas is their penalty killing, as they are last in the league at 73.9%. The Stars are 28th in the league in goals allowed at 3.2 per game.
Boston has been good on the power play at 21%, which is 8th in the league. Boston is averaging 2.8 goals per game, which is 12th in the league. They are 3rd in the league in penalty killing at 84.9% and they are 12th in the league in goals against at 2.7 per contest.
The Stars have gotten pretty good play of late from Kari Lehtonen, but his overall numbers are still not that good at 19-29 with a 2.82 goals against average. Antti Niemi is 11-15 with a 3.35 goals against average.
The Bruins have started Tuukka Rask in most of their games this season, as he is 33-24 with a 2.38 goals against average. Their backup is Anton Khudobin who is 6-6 with a 2.60 GAA.
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Boston won 6-3 in Dallas earlier this season and the Bruins have won six of the last ten overall in the series with the last four going over the total. It has been a bit of a road team series, as the Stars have won the last three in Boston with two of the three going over the total.
This should be a game that Boston wins, but I still don’t know that I trust the Bruins, even at home. I will avoid a side and just take the game over the total.
NHL Odds: Bruins 4, Stars 3
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