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Struggling Bruins Start Long Road Trip Friday In Vancouver
The marquee matchup on Friday's NHL schedule is when Boston makes its only trip of the season -- barring an unlikely Stanley Cup Finals matchup -- to Vancouver. The Canucks opened as -120 favorites on Sportsbook.ag with a total of five goals. The over five is a -120 favorite.
Boston currently holds down the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference, four points ahead of Florida, the first team on the outside looking in. The Bruins aren't playing very well, having lost three of its past four games, two of those at home. This game stats a very tough road trip. Following Vancouver is: Calgary (Feb. 16), Edmonton (Feb. 18), St. Louis (Feb. 20), and Chicago (Feb. 22). A rough road trip could find Boston outside of the playoff race.
The Bruins come off a 5-3 home loss to Dallas on Tuesday night, giving up two short-handed goals to the Stars. Boston didn't allow a short-handed goal in its first 53 games. Dallas got outshot 44-32 and was also hampered by a stomach bug that limited leading scorer Tyler Seguin, who played through the illness but managed just two shots against his former team.
Niklas Svedberg was pulled after allowing three goals on 10 shots in the first. Tuukka Rask played the final two periods for the Bruins and finished with 20 saves. Both goalies were on the bench as Boston tried to tie it with six skaters when Erik Cole scored into an empty net with 33 seconds to play. It was the first NHL game Svedberg has played since a 3-0 shutout win over the New Jersey Devils on Jan. 8. The Bruins have leaned heavily on Rask, who has played 21 of the last 22 games.
After the game, Bruins coach Claude Julien described the power play as careless, with poor work ethic and players who were flat-footed, lackadaisical, very soft and a real disappointment. Boston was 0-for-3 on the power play and is dead last in the league with only 125 power-play opportunities. The Devils are second-to-last with 148.
“Sucks,” Julien said. “That’s the only word I’ve got. We’ve been working on it in practices, but it’s no good, so that’s where we’re at right now.”
A mediocre first few months of the season seemed to be in the rearview mirror for Boston after an 8-1-3 mark in January. But a 1-3 record over their last four games, in which they've been outscored 12-8, has put them back in an uncomfortable spot. The Bruins want to avoid what happened on their last long road trip, four games on the west coast road trip in December. They went 1-3 on that trip.
The Canucks also have 63 points and are currently tied for third in the Pacific Division. They are just 5-5 in their past 10 games but enter off a very nice 5-4 overtime win at Chicago, which remains the Stanley Cup betting favorite. Henrik Sedin got his second assist when Daniel Sedin scored his second goal at 1:20 of overtime. Daniel Sedin also scored in the third period to give Vancouver a 4-2 lead with 4:37 remaining. Linden Vey, Bo Horvat and Zack Kassian scored in the second for Vancouver. Eddie Lack had 37 saves.
This is the first meeting of the season between the Canucks and Bruins.
Key betting trends: Under is 5-1-1 in the last 7 meetings in Vancouver. Home team is 8-2 in the last 10 meetings. Bruins are 1-4 in the last 5 meetings in Vancouver.
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