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New Jersey Devils vs. Boston Bruins Betting Preview

Boston is the home of an East Division matchup on Tuesday, as the Boston Bruins host the New Jersey Devils. The Devils (13-16-4) have five wins in their past eight games, punctuated by a 1-0 win on Sunday against the Bruins (17-9-5), who have dropped two of their last three following a brief two-game COVID pause.

Here is a closer look at these clubs, ranging from key stats to players to watch, before giving a free pick. Boston, to no surprise, is favored at -186, while New Jersey is a +155 underdog.

By the Numbers

There’s no question the Bruins have been able to generate more shots per game, ranking fourth with an average of 32 compared to the Devils with 29.4. However, due to shooting percentages that are just one-tenth of a percentage point apart, Boston’s 2.61 goals per game ranks just a little ahead of New Jersey’s 2.39. However, the B’s have a much better power play that sits 13th in the NHL, while the Devils are in the bottom-five.

Defensively, you’ll see a much wider gap. Boston allows the third-fewest goals per game and the second-fewest shots at 2.29 and 26.9, respectively. They also have the league’s top penalty kill percentage despite averaging more time in the penalty box than all but one team.

Meanwhile, New Jersey is 19th and 26th in goals allowed and shots allowed and, despite averaging the fourth-fewest time in the box per game, carry the league’s third-worst penalty kill.

Players to Watch

New Jersey’s point leaders at 19 are center Pavel Zacha and defenseman Ty Smith. Zacha, who has seven goals and 12 assists on the year, has just one point in his last four games. As for Smith, the 20-year old has been a pleasant surprise this season, registering a team-high 17 assists, including in four of the last five games.

Additionally, left-wing Miles Wood has a team-leading ten goals despite a slow March, while right-wing Kyle Palmieri and center Jack Hughes are each at seven goals and nine assists due to prolonged slumps, particularly for the former first pick Hughes.

As for Boston, their point-leader is the stud left-wing Brad Marchand, who has 34 points, including a team-leading 22 helpers. However, Marchand has missed the last two games while being placed in the COVID protocol, and it remains to be seen if he’s available Tuesday.

Right-wing David Pastrnak and center Patrice Bergeron are the other key players on the Bruins’ first-line, with Pastrnak leading the team with 14 goals to go with 13 assists while Bergeron has 10 and 16 without missing a game. D-man Charlie McAvoy and center David Krejci are also dangerous, as each of them have 17 assists on the year.


After a masterful 40-save shutout of Boston on Sunday, expect Mackenzie Blackwood to get the start against the Devils. It was Blackwood’s first shutout of the year, as the 24-year old is now 9-9-1 with a 2.82 GAA and .911 save percentage.

With longtime netminder Tuukka Rask still on the shelf, look for the Bruins to once again rely on Jaroslav Halak to man the crease. Halak has been Boston’s best goalie this year overall, going 7-5-3 with a 2.17 GAA and .919 save percentage, along with a pair of shutouts.

Betting Pick

The Marchand factor is certainly something that needs to be monitored in this game, as his availability determines quite a lot for the Bruins. Without him, they were shutout against Blackwood but still managed to put up 40 shots on the young goalie.

On Tuesday, look for Boston to get their revenge. New Jersey is still having a very difficult time scoring, particularly their key players like Palmieri and Hughes. That struggling offense will once again be challenged by Boston’s elite defense, one who held the Devils to 11 fewer shots on Sunday.

Bet the Bruins to win this one and split this two-game series.

Pick: Bruins -186

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