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The Boston Bruins are on a four-game winning streak.
The Seattle Kraken are 3-1-1 in their last five games.
The Kraken shut out the Bruins 3-0 in their first meeting this season.
Odds Taken from FanDuel Sportsbook.
43-8-5 (1st in Atlantic Division)
32-19-6 (3rd in Pacific Division)
David Pastrnak (77)
Jordan Eberle (45)
David Pastrnak (41)
Jared McCann (26)
David Pastrnak (36)
Jordan Eberle (32)
Hampus Lindholm (36)
Adam Larsson (27)
David Pastrnak (4.82)
Shots (Per Game)
Oliver Bjorkstrand (2.4)
The Boston Bruins will travel west to Seattle to face the Kraken for the second time this season. These teams first faced each other in mid-January, and the Kraken shut out the Bruins 3-0. Seattle’s Martin Jones saved all 27 shots he saw.
The Bruins are the best team in the NHL and have a league-leading 91 points. They have a 13-point lead over the second-place Toronto Maple Leafs and will likely finish the season with the most points in the NHL. Their opponents, the Kraken, are in third place in the Pacific Division with 70 points. They need to win this game, or they can fall into a Wild Card spot.
The Bruins have all the pieces they need to make a Playoff run. Their offense is tied with Edmonton’s as the best in the NHL. They average an incredible 3.71 goals per game and have scored 14 goals in their previous three games. Their offense is not the only strong part of their team. Defensively, they are top-notch and allow 2.05 goals per game. No team in the NHL has a better defense than Boston. In case that is not enough, the Bruins have the NHL’s best goaltender in Linus Ullmark. Ullmark has only given up five goals in his last three starts.
The Bruins have five players (David Pastrnak, Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, Taylor Hall, Jake DeBrusk) with 15 goals or more. These five account for nearly half of Boston’s goals and have been vital to their success this season.
Linus Ullmark may be the most valuable player on the Bruins simply because he is the best netminder in the NHL. Boston has a strong chance of winning whenever he enters the crease.
The Kraken have a strong squad but will struggle to keep up with the Bruins. Their offense is not that far behind Boston’s, but their defense could use some work. Seattle gives up 3.07 goals per game, right around the league average. Their goaltenders also need to improve. They are not the worst in the NHL, but they are not elite by any means.
The Kraken do not have any players with 50 or more points, but they do have four players (Jordan Eberle, Vince Dunn, Jared McCann, Matty Beniers) with 40 or more points. These four are productive and critical to Seattle.
Martin Jones and Philipp Grubauer are the Kraken’s two goaltenders. I would like to say they are performing well, but that would not be true. Both goalies allow over 2.8 goals per game and struggle to be consistent.
The Bruins are a significantly stronger team and have momentum from their four-game winning streak, so I would bet on them. Even though Boston was shut out the first time they faced the Kraken, they will have more success against them this time around. Bet on Boston.
The Bruins are the favorites but will only win if they have strong goaltending and draw penalties.
It is too early to say who will get the start in the net for the Bruins. Regardless, whoever gets the start must bring their A-game and be a brick wall in the net. This may be difficult, as the Bruins are facing a Kraken team averaging nearly 30 shots a game.
The Bruins have a reliable power-play unit and convert nearly 24% of their opportunities. They failed to score in their previous game but put one in the back of the net the game before that. The power play unit must see a significant amount of time on the ice and score at least once.
The Kraken are the underdogs but can win if they score first and slow down David Pastrnak.
The Kraken have scored the first goal in four of their previous five games. They need to score first in this matchup too. If they do, they will set the tone early and dramatically increase their chances of winning.
David Pastrnak is the top player on the Bruins and has the fifth-most points in the NHL. He is a killer with the puck in his hands, so the Kraken must make him priority #1 and slow him down as much as possible.
Hampus Lindholm has excelled in his first full season in Boston and is arguably Boston’s top defenseman. The defenseman leads the Bruins in TOI (23:31) and also has six goals and 30 assists.
Lindholm plays on the Bruins’ first line. He will likely spend much time on the ice with Seattle’s top scorers. He needs to slow them down and limit their shot output.
Jared McCann is Kraken’s top scorer. He leads the Kraken with an impressive 26 goals. However, he has not scored a goal in his previous two games. He must return to form against the Bruins and put at least one puck in the back of the net.
What - Boston Bruins vs Seattle Kraken
Where - Climate Pledge Arena, Seattle, Washington
When - Thursday, February 23, 10:00 PM EST
How to Watch - NHLPP, ESPN+
Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]More info on Max Heering
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