After closing out a season-opening three-game road trip with a victory, the Boston Bruins will kick off their home schedule Thursday with a visit from the New Jersey Devils, a team they have beaten three straight times on home ice according to the OddsShark NHL Database.
Boston is coming off a 4-1 win in Winnipeg against the Jets on Monday night and sits with a 2-1 record heading into Thursday night’s Devils vs. Bruins matchup at TD Garden.
The Bruins started the season strong last week with a decisive 6-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets but stumbled in a Saturday night date in Toronto, failing to pay out on the NHL betting lines by falling 4-1 to a much-improved Maple Leafs squad at Air Canada Centre.
Goaltender Tuukka Rask missed the club’s matchup with Toronto on Saturday, as he was sidelined with an undisclosed injury, but was back between the pipes against the Jets and preserved the Bruins’ win — which came despite being outshot by a 35-25 margin.
The health and performance of Rask is crucial to the Bruins’ efforts to return to the NHL playoffs, but all eyes have been on forward Brad Marchand so far this season. The 28-year-old has been hot in the early going, picking up two goals and five assists. Marchand was at +2500 odds to win the NHL goal scoring title this year on the preseason prop lines.
The Devils also opened their season on the road, dropping a pair of low-scoring decisions to the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers. That carried over their offensive struggles from last season, which they finished with a whimper by scoring over two goals just twice in their final 10 contests.
New Jersey has lost nine of its last 10 games to the Bruins in Boston overall, while going just 3-7 in the last 10 meetings between the Eastern Conference clubs dating back to 2013.
Boston follows up its date with the Devils with a Saturday night home game against the rival Montreal Canadiens, who have been without star goalie Carey Price in their first two contests of the season. That’s followed by a visit from the Minnesota Wild next Tuesday night.
Thumbnail photo via Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports Images
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