NHL Odds: Red-Hot Bruins Home Favorites Against Panthers

Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask

Photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images

The Boston Bruins will be looking to continue their rise up the standings with a third straight victory when they return home on Thursday to take on the Florida Panthers as -195 favorites on the NHL odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Boston closed out a three-game road trip with a decisive 5-1 victory over the New York Islanders as -129 chalk on Tuesday, and has now earned the win in 16 of its past 21 outings going into Thursday night’s Panthers vs. Bruins betting matchup at TD Garden.

The Bruins’ current surge has erased the memory of a middling 6-7-4 start and vaulted the club into second place in the Atlantic Division, two points up on the third-place Toronto Maple Leafs with three games in hand. Boston’s resurgence finally is being reflected on the Stanley Cup odds, where they have improved to +1800 after lagging at +4000 prior to Christmas.

Solid goaltending has powered the Bruins’ recent success. Tuukka Rask has returned to Vezina-winning form, holding opponents to just six total goals over six straight victories, while Bruins snipers have tallied five goals in three of the club’s past four outings.

The Bruins also have dominated Atlantic Division rivals, claiming six straight victories while outscoring opponents by a lopsided 22-6 margin. However, Boston continues to produce mixed results in totals betting, with the UNDER going 4-3-1 in the Bruins’ past eight overall, and 4-4-0 in their past eight home dates, according to the OddsShark NHL Database.

The Panthers are coming off a crushing 5-1 loss in Minnesota as +147 underdogs on Tuesday night, ending a five-game win streak that has lifted them to within five points of the Islanders and Carolina Hurricanes for the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Like the Bruins, Florida received stellar goaltending during their recent win streak, with James Reimer allowing just six total goals in five straight wins. However, the Panthers continue to struggle on the road, tallying wins in just two of seven away dates, and have lost five straight to the Bruins, including their past two visits to Boston.

The Bruins face a busy weekend following Thursday night’s clash with the Panthers. The club hosts the Hurricanes on Saturday before traveling to Pittsburgh to take on the struggling Penguins on Sunday.

Boston has dropped four of five to Carolina, but eked out a 2-1 win as -172 chalk in the Hurricanes’ most recent visit in December 2016. Conversely, the Bruins have taken nine of 12 from the Penguins, but are winless in their past two visits to Pittsburgh.

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