The Boston Bruins will try to reverse a recent slide that threatens to bounce them from the NHL playoff picture when they host the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday as -145 betting favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Boston dropped a 6-5 shootout decision to the Detroit Red Wings as a -143 road favorite Wednesday and has slipped to third place in the Atlantic Division ahead of Friday night?s Blackhawks vs. Bruins betting matchup at TD Garden.
The Bruins kicked off the season on a tear, winning 10 of their first 16 contests, but have struggled since, recording a middling 13-13-6 record.
The club is winless in six of its past nine games and has failed to record consecutive victories since mid-November. That slide has saddled the Bruins with a dismal 10-11-0 mark on home ice this season, ahead of only the Arizona Coyotes and Colorado Avalanche.
While the Bruins continue to hold a playoff spot, they now find themselves in a dogfight with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators for control of second place in the Atlantic Division.
The Senators? 2-0 shutout victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets as +175 road underdogs Thursday pulled them alongside Boston with 52 points, just two points up on the Maple Leafs, with both Ottawa and Toronto holding five games in hand on the Bruins.
The Blackhawks travel east following a 6-4 victory in Colorado as -170 road favorites Tuesday. The win halted a two-game slide for Chicago, which is two points behind the surging Minnesota Wild in the Central Division.
However, Chicago has battled inconsistency in recent weeks, alternating between winning and losing streaks while posting a 6-6-1 mark over its past 13 games, including losses in three of its past four road contests.
The Blackhawks have picked up wins in three of their past five games against the Bruins, including victories in two of their past three visits to TD Garden, according to the OddsShark NHL Database.
Following Friday night?s date with Chicago, the Bruins travel to Pittsburgh for a clash with the high-scoring Penguins on Sunday.
The Penguins have potted 12 total goals in a pair of wins following a recent three-game slide. Pittsburgh also has been red hot on home ice, winning 12 of 13 while outscoring opponents by a 66-34 margin. That includes a 4-3 win over Boston in mid-December as -168 home favorites to halt a five-game losing streak against the Bruins.
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