The Boston Bruins and Columbus Blue Jackets are all knotted up at one game apiece as the series leaves Boston and heads to Ohio. The Bruins missed a great chance to take a 2-0 series lead with a one-goal loss to the Blue Jackets in Game 2. Both of the first two games of this series have gone to overtime, and Game 3 should be good as well.
Boston got down in their first-round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs but rallied to win the final two games. The Bruins saw their brief three-game winning streak snapped in their Game 2 loss to the Blue Jackets. Columbus was the talk of the NHL in the first round after pulling off a four-game sweep of top-seeded Tampa Bay. The Blue Jackets had an up-and-down season but look to be for real. Columbus is -115 over the Bruins in Game 3.
Marchand Needs Help on Offense
The Boston Bruins were a pretty good offensive team during the regular season, but that hasn’t been the case in the playoffs. Boston has tallied 28 goals so far in the postseason, but they did a lot of that damage against the Maple Leafs. Brad Marchand is leading the team with five assists and nine points, but he needs some help. David Pastrnak was a goal-scoring machine this season and needs to get back to putting pucks in the net.
Tuukka Rask has been terrific in net all season long for the Bruins, and the bright lights haven’t scared him away. Boston has allowed just 21 goals so far in the playoffs, and Rask is a big reason for that. The Bruins want to slow the pace of the game down, and they do a really good job of protecting their own net. Rask is stopping 93 percent of shot attempts and will be a calming influence on the road.
Bobrovsky Shining For Blue Jackets
Speaking of terrific goaltending; the Columbus Blue Jackets have a stud in their net as well. Sergei Bobrovsky has always had plenty of talent, but he is absolutely carrying this Blue Jackets team so far in the playoffs. Bobrovsky has allowed just 13 goals in the first six games and is stopping 93 percent of the shots that he faces. The Blue Jackets have been a solid defensive team all season, but this is taking it another step.
Left winger Artemi Panarin will be a highly sought-after free agent this summer, but the Blue Jackets are hoping he delivers them a Stanley Cup before he leaves. Panarin is leading the team with four goals and nine points so far this postseason and is capable of making highlight reel type plays. Columbus is averaging four goals per game so far in the postseason, after tallying just over three per game in the regular season.
Columbus Takes 2-1 Series Lead
Boston feels like the better team in this series, but there isn’t a ton of separation. Columbus has kept the games close so far and was able to pull a road win out in Game 2. Look for the Blue Jackets to score first in this game and find a way to take a 2-1 series lead. Bet the Columbus Blue Jackets -115 over the Boston Bruins in Game 3.