The Boston Bruins will be looking to avoid consecutive losses on home ice for the first time this season when they renew their rivalry with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday as -145 favorites on the NHL odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
A five-goal second period doomed Boston in an 8-5 loss to the visiting Vancouver Canucks on Thursday, dumping the club to 2-3-0 in five games ahead of Saturday night’s Maple Leafs vs. Bruins betting matchup at TD Garden.
The Bruins have considerably cooled off since opening the campaign on a 4-1-0 run. The club has struggled to generate offense at times in recent weeks, potting two or fewer goals in six of its past 10 outings, while posting consecutive victories on just one occasion during that stretch.
Despite their recent shaky performances, the Bruins enter the weekend in the thick of the Atlantic Division race. Boston trails the first-place Tampa Bay Lightning by just six points in the divisional standings and sits deadlocked with the Buffalo Sabres in control of an Eastern Conference wild card. The club also has enjoyed a slight uptick on the Stanley Cup odds, where it has improved to +1000 after opening the campaign at +1200.
Saturday’s clash marks the first meeting between these Original Six rivals since the Bruins knocked off the Maple Leafs in seven games in a first-round playoff matchup last spring. Boston tallied victories in three of four of home dates to clinch the series win, but have otherwise struggled against Toronto. The Bruins have fallen to defeat in eight of their previous 10 regular-season clashes with the Leafs, including three of four at TD Garden.
Toronto is pegged as +115 underdogs for Saturday’s clash, which kicks off a four-game road trip that also will take it to California for matchups with the Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks.
The road has been kind to the Maple Leafs so far this season. Toronto shooters have averaged 5.33 goals per game while compiling a 6-0-0 road record, capped by the club’s 5-0 rout of the Pittsburgh Penguins as +120 road underdogs last Saturday.
With star Auston Matthews sidelined with a shoulder injury, the Maple Leafs’ offense has sputtered of late, generating strong UNDER results for totals bettors. However, early-season challenges have failed to shake their position on the Stanley Cup odds, where they continue to edge out the Lightning as betting favorites.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports