The Bruins can move to within one victory of the Stanley Cup tonight when they visit the St. Louis Blues, who are still licking their wounds from a humiliating 7-2 defeat Saturday at home.
The big question is whether that defeat was a kill shot to the Blues’ confidence, or if St. Louis will get back up from the mat with an inspired effort tonight? We think it’s the latter and expect a much better showing from the Blues tonight, especially in their own end of the rink. Whether that’s enough to derail the Boston train right now is another question, which is why we’re going with a play on the total instead.
Good luck if you’re tailing along, and enjoy what very well could be the second-last game of the NHL season.
Odds below are at the time we made the pick.
We’re a little late to the party here as Pinnacle’s price on the Under 5.5 has moved from an opener of -125 all the way to -141 at the time of writing. However, there’s still enough meat on the value bone to take another stat at the Under here.
We say another shot because we played the Under 5 at plus money in Game 2, only to see the teams combine for 4 goals in a wild opening period. At that point, a push was the best case scenario, something that seemed like a big ask with 2 periods to play. But things then settled down into the slower, more methodical pace that we’d originally anticipated, as neither team scored a goal for the final 40 minutes of regulation before the Blues eventually prevailed 3-2 in OT, giving us the push we’d been praying for.
The situation is ripe for another tight-checking affair here. As we wrote prior to Game 2, the Blues have been tremendous defensively following a loss, allowing 2 regulation time goals or less in 14 of their last 20 outings. Take away empty netters, and St. Louis has allowed 3 or less in 18 of those 20 games following a defeat. Now, you’ve got a Blues team at home that A) was embarrassed by allowing 7 in its own rink; B) is desperate to avoid falling down 3-1 in this series, and C) has a proven track record in this situation. Assuming Jordan Binnington’s confidence wasn’t absolutely shattered in Game 3 (and that seems like a safe assumption, given how the kid has been cool as a cucumber for months), the situation for an Under seems even stronger than in Game 2.
On the other side of the rink, Tuukka Rask is still as sharp as ever, holding opponents to 2 regulation time goals in 14 of his last 15. And for all the offense the Bruins have generated in this series, 8 of their 13 goals have either come on the power play or after St. Louis pulled its goalie for an extra attacker. St. Louis has to do a better job staying out of the penalty box, but maybe that’s something the Blues do better in Game 4 after interim coach Craig Berube complained about the officiating Saturday night. Regardless, at +124 odds, the Under 5 is worth a stab in a series that feels like it’s due to have a low-scoring affair.
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