The Boston Bruins picked up a 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers at Fenway Park in the 2010 NHL Winter Classic. They will look for similar results Friday when they face the Montreal Canadiens at Gillette Stadium as projected betting favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
The division rivals have been going in opposite directions in the standings lately. Boston enters the Winter Classic with a 6-3-1 record in its past 10 games, while Montreal has fallen out of first place in the Atlantic Division during its current 2-8-0 run.
The Habs’ current struggles have coincided with the absence of star goaltender Carey Price, who is out indefinitely with a lower-body injury. The defending Hart and Vezina trophy winner was 10-2-0 with a 2.06 goals-against average this season before being shut down.
Montreal has used three goalies since Price went on the shelf, with Mike Condon getting the bulk of the starts ahead of Dustin Tokarski. The Canadiens also acquired Ben Scrivens, who made his Montreal debut Tuesday night in a 3-1 loss to the Florida Panthers, from the Edmonton Oilers earlier this week.
The Bruins, meanwhile, are coming off a 7-3 home victory over the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night, with Jimmy Hayes scoring a hat trick and Patrice Bergeron and Matt Beleskey each providing a pair of goals in the win. Tuukka Rask gave up the three Ottawa goals on 32 shots in the game, improving his season record to 14-9-3.
Rask appears to be rounding into form heading into the Winter Classic, having allowed just nine goals over his past five starts, while lowering his goals-against average to 2.41 and upping his save percentage to .918. Rask also allowed only one goal on 33 shots in a Dec. 9 win over the Habs.
Boston won that matchup 3-1 on the road in Montreal as +118 underdogs on the NHL betting lines at the sportsbooks. However, the Bruins fell by 4-2 scores in their first two games of the season against the Canadiens, and they’re just 1-8 in the last nine games between the teams dating to May 2014, according to the OddsShark NHL Database.
Puck drop in Foxboro, Mass., for the Winter Classic on New Year’s Day is set for 1 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via General view of Gillette Stadium