The Boston Bruins’ playoff hopes will hang in the balance on Saturday as they play host to the Ottawa Senators in their final game of the regular season as strong -275 betting favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Boston enters Saturday afternoon’s Senators vs. Bruins betting matchup at TD Garden clinging to the second Eastern Conference Wild Card, but does not control its playoff destiny.
With 93 points, the Bruins are deadlocked with Detroit in the Atlantic Division, but trail the Red Wings by one game on the all-important regulation and overtime wins (ROW) tiebreaker, which currently leaves Detroit in possession of third place in the standings.
Boston remains one point up on Philadelphia in the Wild Card hunt after getting a little help from the Toronto Maple Leafs, who downed the Flyers 4-3 in overtime on Thursday, extending Philly’s current losing streak to three games.
However, with wins in their two remaining games against Pittsburgh on Saturday and the New York Islanders on Sunday, the Flyers can still move past Boston and Detroit regardless of how either team fares in its final matchups.
While the Red Wings still control their own destiny, they will be under massive pressure on Saturday when they close out their season against the New York Rangers as slim -120 road favorites.
A regulation or overtime win against the Rangers clinches third place for Detroit, but anything less, including a shootout victory, puts Boston in the driver’s seat.
The Bruins are coming off an inspiring 5-2 win over Detroit on Thursday, winning the season series against the Red Wings by a 3-1 margin, thereby giving them the edge on the second playoff tiebreaker.
As a result, a Bruins regulation or overtime win over Ottawa combined with a Red Wings shootout victory or loss would hand Boston a third-place divisional finish, while putting Detroit at risk of missing the NHL playoffs for the first time in a quarter-century.
The Senators roll into Boston for their final contest of the campaign after topping the Florida Panthers 3-1 on Thursday night.
It has been a disappointing stretch run for the Senators, who have posted a 7-11 record in 18 games since March 1, according to the OddsShark NHL Database, including a 3-5 mark on the road. But they have taken two of three from the Bruins this season, and five of their past seven.
Detroit, meanwhile, has emerged victorious in three of its past four against the Rangers, but is winless in its past five visits to Madison Square Garden, while the Flyers are winless in three meetings with Pittsburgh since January, ending an eight-game win streak against their in-state rivals.
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