The Boston Bruins will be looking to win four games in a row for the first time during this year’s playoffs when they open their Eastern Conference final clash with the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday as -150 favorites on the NHL odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Boston posted a decisive 3-0 win over Columbus to close out its second-round series with the Blue Jackets in six games, and will return to the Eastern Conference final for the first time since 2013 in Thursday night’s Hurricanes vs. Bruins betting matchup at TD Garden.
The Bruins hope to avoid some of the early-series struggles that have plagued them so far in this year’s playoffs. Boston was dominated in Game 1 of its first-round series with Toronto, dropping a 4-1 decision to the Maple Leafs on home ice, and needed overtime to get past the Blue Jackets with a 3-2 win in their series opener.
Overall, the Bruins have fallen to defeat in five of their past nine home dates. However, the team finished strong in its clash with Columbus, surrendering just four total goals in three straight victories to clinch the series win, and now are 3-1 in their past four home dates.
Bolstered by the exceptional play of goaltender Tuukka Rask, playoff contests involving the Bruins have tended to be low-scoring affairs. With four of their dates with Columbus getting settled by a single goal, the UNDER paid out in totals betting on five occasions during the Bruins’ second-round matchup, and has gone 10-5 in their past 15 overall.
Despite eking out wins by narrow margins, the Bruins enter the conference final as solid favorites on the NHL playoff series prices at -150 odds, and also sit at +170 odds to claim their first Stanley Cup victory since 2011.
However, the Bruins likely will have their hands full against a Hurricanes squad that has emerged as the surprise story of this year’s playoffs.
After claiming the top wild card in the East to end a decade-long playoff drought, the Hurricanes stunned the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals with a first-round series win in seven games, and followed up with a sweep of the New York Islanders in the second round.
Carolina now has advanced at least as far as the Eastern Conference final in each of its four NHL playoff appearances since 2001, but is pegged as a +130 underdog against the battle-tested Bruins on the NHL playoff series prices, and as a lengthy +400 bet to claim its first Stanley Cup win since 2006.
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