Florida Panthers at Boston Bruins Odds - Free Pick 12/12/2015
A key battle in the Atlantic Division gets things started in the NHL this Saturday with the Florida Panthers heading to TD Garden to square-off against the Boston Bruins. The puck is set to drop at 1 p.m. (ET) and the game will be available on NHL Center Ice.
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The Panthers snapped a two-game skid with Thursday's 4-1 victory against Washington as +128 home underdogs with the total ending as a PUSH. Prior to those back-to-back 4-2 losses to New Jersey on the road as an underdog and Ottawa at home as a favorite, Florida had reeled-off five-straight wins while outscoring its opponents by a combined score of 12-6.
On the year, the Panthers are 14-11-4 with 32 total points. They have gone 7-5-2 on the road including a 4-1 run in their last five road games. Veteran right winger Jaromir Jagr leads the team in both goals (9) and points (21) and the team as a whole is averaging 2.5 goals a game. Goalie Roberto Luongo has gotten the majority of the starts this year and his goals-against average stands at 2.36.
Boston is one point ahead of Florida in the Atlantic Division standings following Wednesday's big 3-1 victory against the first-place Montreal Canadiens. The Bruins closed as +118 road underdogs and the total stayed UNDER a closing line of 5.5. The total has now stayed UNDER in four of their last five games and their record over the last 10 games stands at profitable 7-1-2.
Center David Krejci leads the Bruins in points with 27 including a team-high 18 assists, but he remains questionable for Saturday's game after suffering an upper body injury in Wednesday's win. The key to getting another division win in this matchup could fall on the shoulders of Boston goalie Tuukka Rask. He stopped 32 of the 33 shots he faced against Montreal to record his first career win against the bitter division rivals. On the year, he has a .910 save percentage and a GAA of 2.63 in 20 previous games.
The Panthers are 5-1 in their last six road games and they have won their last four games against a team with a winning record. The total has stayed UNDER in four of their last five road games.
The Bruins are 5-0 in their last five division games and they have won their last seven games against the Eastern Conference. The total has gone OVER in nine of their last 13 home games.
Head-to-head in this division battle, the home team is 4-1 in the last five meetings and the total has stayed UNDER in nine of the last 13 games played in Boston.
Florida Panthers at Boston Bruins Prediction
Florida has been playing well on the road and the Bruins have been dominating the division in recent games so this Saturday's matchup should be a hard-fought battle to the bitter end. Both defenses are coming off a solid effort their last time out and I see that carrying over to this game with the total staying UNDER the five-goal line.