NHL Hockey Betting: Chicago Blackhawks at Boston Bruins

NHL Hockey Betting:  Chicago Blackhawks at Boston Bruins

The Boston Bruins are tied with the Ottawa Senators for second place in the Atlantic Division and have Toronto, Florida, Tampa Bay and Detroit hot on their heels. They’ll try to open up some ‘breathing room’ and cut into Montreal’s 8 point lead atop the division as they host the Chicago Blackhawks at the TD Garden on Friday night. The Blackhawks are tied with the Minnesota Wild for first place in the Central Division and Western Conference. The Hawks have won 6 of their last 10 (6-4-0) while Boston has lost two straight and is 4-4-2 in their last ten games.

Scott Darling has been confirmed as the starting goalie for Chicago in this game. Darling performed well while starter Corey Crawford was out with injury and has a 11-4-2 record with a 2.34 goals against average and 0.924 save percentage with one shutout. He’ll be opposed by Tuukka Rask who has slipped in form somewhat of late but is still the team’s ‘MVP’. The Bruins have a bottom ten scoring offense (#22 at 2.50 goals per game) but the #7 scoring defense in the NHL (2.52 goals against per game). They also allow fewer shots on goal than 28 of the 29 other NHL teams (only Los Angeles gives up fewer shots against) but Rask is the last line of defense. He may need to play an even bigger role as the Bruins have recently suffered some injuries to their backline–Kevan Miller is out ‘indefinitely’ with a concussion and Collin Miller is listed as ‘questionable’ with a knee injury.

The Bruins are doing the same dysfunctional thing that they’ve done in recent years where they play better away from the TD Garden than at home. They’re 13-8-6 on the road but just 10-11-0 at home. The Blackhawks aren’t great on the road with a record of 11-9-1 though they’ve been exceptional at home this year with a 17-5-4 record. Chicago will begin a three game home stand on Sunday hosting Vancouver, Tampa Bay and Winnipeg while Boston has a very tough stretch playing at Pittsburg, they returning home to play Detroit and a rematch against the Penguins before a trip to Tampa Bay. Blackhawks more of a complete team at this point and should get the win here.