The Boston Bruins will face a familiar postseason foe when they host the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 1 of their opening-round playoff series on Thursday night as -150 favorites on the NHL odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Boston closed out the NHL regular season on a losing note, falling 6-3 to the league-leading Tampa Bay Lightning as -120 home chalk on Saturday, and has fallen to defeat in four of seven contests ahead of Thursday night’s Maple Leafs vs. Bruins betting matchup at TD Garden.
The Bruins’ late-season swoon has raised concerns about their ability to advance past the second round of the playoffs, something the team has not done in its past three postseason appearances. However, the Bruins’ shaky performance to close out the schedule has not dampened their position on the Stanley Cup odds, where they trail only the Lightning and the Calgary Flames as a strong +900 wager.
Home ice has proven advantageous for the Bruins this season. The team finished second only to Tampa Bay by going 29-9-3 at home, including victories in 12 of their past 14 contests at TD Garden, and will seek to build on that success in their second straight opening-round series matchup with the Maple Leafs.
The Bruins took three of four from Toronto this season including a pair of lopsided victories on home ice, and enter the postseason pegged as solid -160 favorites on the NHL playoff series prices. And Boston has recent history on its side when facing the Maple Leafs in the playoffs.
The Bruins needed seven games, including a trio of wins on home ice, to get past Toronto in the first round last spring. The team also tallied an opening-round win over the Maple Leafs back in 2013, with the Bruins closing out that series with an epic comeback in the third period of Game 7.
The Maple Leafs return to the NHL playoffs for a third straight year with some work to do after closing out their regular-season schedule on a three-game losing streak. Toronto’s season-ending swoon continued a dismal stretch during which the club failed to tally consecutive victories while posting wins in just five of 16 games.
Pegged as early-season favorites on the NHL futures, the Maple Leafs have tumbled dramatically in recent weeks, and now enter the playoffs on the bottom half of the Stanley Cup odds at a lengthy +2000. The Maple Leafs also enter the week lagging on the odds as +140 underdogs to defeat Boston in an NHL playoff series for the first time since 1959.
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