Bruins Favored Over Panthers In Game That Could Decide Playoff Hopes

The Boston Bruins will fight for their playoff lives Thursday night when they visit the Florida Panthers as -124 moneyline favorites on the NHL betting lines at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

With just two regular-season games remaining, the Bruins are deadlocked with the Ottawa Senators in a battle for the second wild card berth in the Eastern Conference, but they hold the edge in tie-breaking regulation and overtime wins.

Boston travels south for Thursday night’s Bruins vs. Panthers betting matchup at BB&T Center following yet another shutout loss to the Washington Capitals on Wednesday. The Bruins’ 3-0 defeat was the third time this season they have been held scoreless by the surging Capitals.

The loss ended a five-game winning streak for Boston that invigorated the club following six consecutive losses that threatened to put an end to its playoff hopes.

The Bruins have struggled to find offense of late, scoring more than three goals in just three of their last 18 games despite badly outshooting opponents at times. Much of their recent success is attributable to solid defense and goaltending, holding opposing teams to just 11 total goals in their last six outings.

Thursday’s date with Florida marks the teams’ fourth and final meeting of the season, and third in less than three weeks. Boston posted a slim 2-1 win at TD Garden back in early November before losing by the same score in a visit to Sunrise last month. The B’s followed that loss with a 3-2 home victory 10 days ago.

Overall, the Bruins have dominated Florida in recent clashes, winning 10 of their last 11, according to the OddsShark NHL Database, and are 8-2 in their last 10 road clashes with the Panthers.

Following their matchup with the Panthers, Boston travels to Tampa Bay, where they will take on the Lightning on Saturday. The Bruins are 2-1 in three games against the Lightning this season, and a solid 3-1 in their last four visits to Tampa.

Meanwhile, the Senators will look to continue their improbable run toward a playoff spot when they visit the New York Rangers on Thursday as +135 moneyline underdogs on the NHL betting lines. However, after the Rangers clinched top spot in the standings earlier this week, it is unclear how many regulars will suit up against the Senators.

The Senators close out their campaign with a Saturday matinee against the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Pittsburgh Penguins enter the final two games of the regular season only one point ahead of the Bruins and Senators. The Penguins face the New York Islanders in a crucial matchup for both teams Friday night before wrapping up their schedule Saturday against the Buffalo Sabres.

Thumbnail photo via Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports Images

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