The Boston Bruins will be looking to avoid getting pushed to the brink of elimination from this year’s NHL playoffs when they hit the ice on Thursday for Game 4 of their second-round clash with the Columbus Blue Jackets as +105 road underdogs on the NHL odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
The Boston offense continued to struggle in Tuesday’s 2-1 loss in Columbus, which leaves the club trailing by a 2-1 margin in the series going into Thursday night’s Bruins vs. Blue Jackets betting matchup at Nationwide Arena.
The Bruins have fared poorly in low-scoring contests so far in this year’s playoffs. In addition to coming out on the wrong end of a pair one-goal games during their first-round series with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Bruins have now dropped a pair decisions to the Blue Jackets in contests settled by a single goal.
A lack of production from the club’s top scorers, particularly Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and David Pastrnak, has complicated the Bruins’ offensive woes. Pastrnak’s goal in Game 2 represents the lone point from the trio so far in the second round.
While that bodes poorly for the Bruins, it has generated a profitable 3-0 run for sports bettors taking the UNDER on the totals, which has now gone 7-3 through Boston’s first 10 playoff contests, according to the OddsShark NHL Database.
The Bruins’ struggles are also being reflected on the NHL series prices, where the club now lags as a +185 underdog, well back of the -140 odds they sported at the outset of the series. Boston is also on the decline on the NHL futures, slipping to +700 on the Stanley Cup odds after briefly climbing to the top of that board at the end of the first round.
It’s a much brighter picture for the Blue Jackets, who look towards Thursday night’s contest perched as slim -125 favorites at online sports betting sites. Columbus head coach John Tortorella continued to get total buy-in from his players in Game 3. Once again, the Blue Jackets employed a ferocious work ethic, frustrating the Bruins with relentless two-way play, while also outmuscling Boston with 53 hits to the Bruins’ 28.
Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky has also emerged as a game changer for the Blue Jackets, limiting opponents to two or fewer goals in four of seven playoff games, while also earning the win in 12 of his past 14 appearances.
The Blue Jackets’ continued steady performance has lifted them to short -225 favorites to advance to the Eastern Conference final for the first time in franchise history, and leaves them perched as a strong +500 bet on the Stanley Cup odds.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images