Saturday March 21st and here at Pucking Hockey we have a NHL hockey prediction today between the Boston Bruins and Florida Panthers. Who will win tonight in the NHL?
Boston On The Skin Of Their Teeth
It’s been a roller coaster for the Bruins this season and being just 2 points ahead of the Ottawa Senators for the final playoff spot, only puts more pressure on the “Big Bad Bruins”. History has shown they can choke with the best of them, and I still believe they will choke this season and not make the playoffs.
The Bruins lost 6-4 in Ottawa this week and although they allowed 6 goals, it was an up and down game. Meaning, it did not make any sense. Between Rask and Hammond there shouldn’t have been more than 4 total goals. Which leads me to Rask, does he have what it takes? Me personally, I think he’s too inconsistent, but that’s just me.
The Bruins’ nine straight wins over the Panthers – the most recent being a 2-1 home victory Nov. 4 – ties them for the second-longest series winning streak in the league. Their 10-game run against Tampa Bay is the longest.
Tuukka Rask has won 10 starts in a row over the Panthers, posting a 0.99 goals-against average with three shutouts. His 1.07 career mark against Florida is his lowest against any opponent.
Florida a Bit Too Short
Sitting 5 points behind the Bruins seems not that far away, but in reality it is. The Panthers will not make the playoffs this season, but they have a very bright future. Young talent and one of the best goaltenders in the NHL, Roberto Luongo.
Some will argue they can still make it, but with Ottawa playing their best hockey in years, they have the legitimate chance of making the playoffs, pushing Boston out, and entering the playoffs red-pucking-hot! It starts tonight however, Florida needs to win not only to stay alive but to eventually lead the Senators to a playoff appearance.
It’s happening, Boston will collapse and Ottawa will advance. And you can bet Florida will be ready tonight, at home, against the Bruins. Boston has been a mess this season and too inconsistent in big games.
Jaromir Jagr scored his second goal with the Panthers and 718th of his career Thursday, passing Phil Esposito for fifth place on the all-time list. He also has five assists since being acquired by Florida. Linemates Aleksander Barkov and Jonathan Huberdeau have five and 10 points, respectively.
NHL Starting Goalies
Boston Bruins – Tuukka Rask
Florida Panthers – Roberto Luongo
NHL Hockey Prediction
BIG game for the Panthers on home ice and I expect them to make a statement. Taking a shot on the Panthers as a slight home underdog. This is not a big play, so keep it small.
Florida Panthers +104 (risking $100 to profit $104)
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