Bruins, Celtics Control Playoff Destinies As Regular Seasons Wind Down

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After claiming victory in each of their last five contests, the Boston Bruins will look to continue their winning ways Wednesday against the Washington Capitals. The Bruins are jockeying for position in the bottom eight of the Eastern Conference playoff standings with the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Detroit Red Wings.

And the Bruins’ hot streak could not have come at a better time. Prior to their current five-game winning streak, the Bruins had lost six in a row, temporarily dropping them out of the playoff hunt in the conference standings.

Following its 2-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs — its fourth consecutive one-goal victory — Boston enters Wednesday night’s Bruins vs. Capitals betting matchup at Verizon Center holding opponents to just 1.6 goals per game in its last five outings. However, the Bruins also have struggled to find the back of the net, scoring more than three goals just twice in their last 14 outings.

The Bruins face a Capitals squad that has caught fire, winning eight of its last 11 — including four as moneyline underdogs at the sportsbooks — to climb into second place in the Metropolitan Division. Washington also has recorded two shutout wins over Boston this season, 2-0 and 4-0, dropping the Bruins to 4-8 in their last 12 games against the Capitals, according to the OddsShark NHL Database.

The Bruins head south following Wednesday’s game, wrapping up their regular season with dates against the Florida Panthers on Thursday and the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday. The Lightning remain in a tight battle with the Montreal Canadiens for the top spot in the Atlantic Division and are a possible first-round playoff opponent for the Bruins.

In NBA action, the Boston Celtics open the week in control of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference after going 4-2 straight-up and 3-3 against the spread on the NBA betting lines in their last six games, including a hard-fought 117-116 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Saturday night. However, the Celtics will need to continue their strong play when they face the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night, followed by a home-and-home series with the Central Division-leading Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Pistons are a solid 7-4 SU in their last 11 games, 8-3 ATS, including a 105-97 win over Boston two weeks ago. Their current run follows a 10-game SU losing streak, which extinguished their dim playoff hopes.

The Cavaliers have won 11 of their last 13 games SU, but they’re a middling 7-6 ATS at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Cleveland is 2-0 SU in two meetings with Boston this season, 1-1 ATS, eking out a narrow one-point victory at TD Garden in November before posting a decisive 110-79 home victory in early March.

Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images

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