Here’s your Boston Hockey Now Boston Bruins Game Day Preview:
Boston Bruins (35-18-5, 75 pts) vs Arizona Coyotes (18-35-4, 40 pts)
TIME: 7:05 PM ET
TV: NESN, BSAZ
The Boston Bruins will look to complete their short, three-game homestand with their second straight win when they host the Arizona Coyotes Saturday night at TD Garden.
The Bruins enter this game slotted in at the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Boston trails the sixth-seeded New York Rangers (36-17-5, 77 pts) by two points and is just four points shy of the fifth-seeded Pittsburgh Penguins (35-15-9, 79 pts) and fourth-seeded Toronto Maple Leafs (37-16-5, 79 pts).
The Coyotes are tied for the least points in the Western Conference and the second-fewest in the NHL with the Seattle Kraken. However, the Yotes come into TD Garden riding a four-game win streak. Since a 2-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche on March 3, they have out-scored their opponents 22-11 in their last three games. The Bruins realize that the Coyotes are feeling it and won’t take them lightly, but they’re also going to remain focused on their game.
“I think they’re on one of those runs where things are going in and if you watch the Toronto game the other night, some of them were fortunate…they had a few fortunate bounces around the net. So sometimes you get on those runs. For us we’re not going to concentrate too much on that aspect of the game for them,” Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said following his team’s game-day skate on Saturday. We know they have the ability to put the puck in the net more so than early in the year.
We will take that from it, but it shouldn’t change the way we play. We’re a team that’s going to play with structure no matter who we play. We’re going to play our game and be aware that, yes, they’re feeling good about themselves right now and that can be dangerous no matter what team you are.”
Jeremy Swayman (16-7-3, 2.06 GAA, .925 save percentage), gets the start again for the Boston Bruins as he looks to keep building on a March where he’s posted a 8-1-1 record after winning NHL Rookie Of The Month in February.
Karel Vejmelka (9-21-1, 3.38 GAA, .904 save percentage) gets the nod for the Coyotes.
Betting: Per our friends at BetUS, are heavy, heavy favorites on the MONEY LINE (-350), despite the Coyotes being en fuego as of late. You won’t even get much value betting the Boston Bruins -1.5 on the PUCK LINE at -135.
The OVER/UNDER is set at 6 and with the Coyotes out-scoring their opponents 24-12 during their four-game win streak and Bruins outscoring their opponents 16-12 in their last four, the OVER is the main play here, but we’ve also got some solid player props for you for more BetUs picks for this game.
Coyotes forward Nick Schmaltz to score at least a goal (+150) and at least a point (-108).
Coyotes forward Clayton Keller to register at least a point (+130).
Bruins forward Charlie Coyle to register at least a point (+100) and at least one assist (+200).
Bruins winger Taylor Hall to score a at least a goal (+200).
Bruins winger David Pastrnak to register at least one assist (+100).
Bruins winger Brad Marchand to score a goal (+120).
Prediction: Bruins 6 Coyotes 4
Boston Bruins Notes
-Defenseman Matt Grzelcyk will draw back in after missing the last two games and Jack Ahcan will be the healthy scratch.
-David Pastrnak comes in off his second two-goal game in his last four contests. Pastrnak also added two helpers over that stretch and now has taken over the team lead in points with 33 goals and 27 assists for 60 points.
-The Bruins continue to get depth scoring as the line of Trent Frederic, Charlie Coyle and Craig Smith has combined for 19 points (7-12-19) in the last eight games.
-Brad Marchand is keeping his head up as he enters tonight’s game mired in a six-game scoring slump.
“It happens at times,” Marchand said after the game-day skate Saturday. “I think there were like three or four games where I had six-plus shots on net, some really good looks and it doesn’t go in. I missed a couple of prime opportunities, a breakaway and one in close that I should have had. And that happens. Sometimes you get two goals on two shots in a game, and you can have a terrible game.
“It’s just how it goes at times, and you’ve got to work through it. I haven’t been at my best, which directly affects my decision-making at times, so it’s getting back to being a little simpler and more direct, and maybe hanging around the net a little bit more.”
Arizona Coyotes Notes
-The reason we like those props on Schmaltz and Keller is that Schmaltz and Keller come in on four-game point streaks and have combined for 22 points (8-14-22) during that stretch. Schmaltz has also chipped in 22 points (11-11-22) himself in his last 11 games, which is tied for sixth in the League since Feb. 9. Keller has been racking up points with nine (3-6-9) over his four-game point streak and has been held off the scoresheet just twice in his last 18 games.
-One of the reported trade targets for the Boston Bruins, Coyotes defenseman Jakub Chychrun had two goals including the overtime winner in a 5-4 win over the Maple Leafs in Toronto Thursday night. That was Chychrun’s second consecutive multi-goal game. If he can record another multi-goal game on Saturday, he’d join Paul Coffey as the only defensemen in NHL history to post three straight multi-goal games. Chychrun has 13 points (5-8-13) in his last 14 games after starting the season with eight points (2-6-8) in his first 32 games. With nine days to go until the NHL Trade Deadline, to say his trade value is peaking at the right time would be an understatement.
Boston Bruins Lines:
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – Jake DeBrusk
Taylor Hall – Erik Haula – David Pastrnak
Trent Frederic – Charlie Coyle – Craig Smith
Nick Foligno-Tomas Nosek-Curtis Lazar
Mike Reilly – Charlie McAvoy
Matt Grzelcyk – Brandon Carlo
Derek Forbort – Connor Clifton
Arizona Coyotes Lines:
Clayton Keller – Travis Boyd – Nick Schmaltz
Alex Galchenyuk – Riley Nash – Phil Kessel
Lawson Crouse – Matias Maccelli – Hudson Fasching
Nick Ritchie – Louis Eriksson – Barrett Hayton
Shayne Gostisbehere – Dysin Mayo
Janis Moser – Anton Stralman
Jacob Chychrun – Vladislav Chonok