Boston Bruins vs. Ottawa Senators (10/18 @ 7:00 PM EST)
Breakdown and Betting Odds
The Ottawa Senators will welcome the Boston Bruins for their home opener Tuesday night. The Sens are looking for their first win of the year, while the Bruins hope to stay hot after starting 3-0.
The Bruins have won five of their last seven against the Sens, three of which were in Ottawa. Boston won last year’s season series by taking two of their three games, with the one loss coming on the road. The Senators are one for-one against the puck line this season, while Boston has covered both games.
Boston Bruins Breakdown
The Bruins enter this game with wins against the Coyotes, Caps, and Panthers. The team has been hit hard with injuries, with top scorer Brad Marchand and key blueliners Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk out. Despite this, the Bruins won their first two games comfortably and now have 12 players who have found the back of the net.
Veteran right-wing David Pastrnak leads the team with five points, with A.J. Greer, David Krejci, and Connor Clifton tied for second with four points. The key to their early success has been the play of their lower lines despite the injuries. Greer and Nick Foligno have been anchors on the third and fourth lines, allowing them to generate offense without their top scorers on the ice. This will be Boston’s most effective weapon as they go up against a Sens defense that’s giving up shots and are still without Cam Talbot in goal.
On defense, the Bruins are coming off a season where they allowed the least even-handed goals in the NHL. They’ll be tested by an Ottawa offense with the potential to be one of the best in the conference. This will be more difficult as they will now be without first-liner Brandon Carlo (out indefinitely), especially since they’ll have to play the Panthers the night before.
Ottawa Senators Breakdown
The Sens will finally be coming home hopeful for their first win. After years of ineptitude, Ottawa’s front office got aggressive in the off-season and added dangerous offensive weapons in Alex DeBrincat and Claude Giroux. They also addressed their issues at goalie by adding Cam Talbot and signing Anton Forsberg to back him up. The flurry of moves means Sens have a lot of new faces, and their lines are still learning to play together.
Captain Brady Tkachuk leads a dangerous first line, and the addition of Debrincat and Giroux makes their second line one of the best in the conference. They’ll be going up against a Boston defense coming off a challenging game last night and are down three key blueliners, setting the Sens’ offense up for a big night.
The Ottawa defense appears to have improved on last year’s disappointing showing, but they will be tested by a Boston team with eleven goals in its first two games. We expect rookie and 2020 fifth-overall pick Jason Sanderson to have some more time on the ice, which could help add some needed depth.
With Cam Talbot out for a few more weeks, Ottawa will start Anton Forsberg for the third straight game. Forsberg won the starting job late last season and started both games this year. While he hasn’t dazzled, Forsberg has kept them in games by saving 61 of 66 (94%). He’ll be facing a Bruins offense that has been putting up at least five goals a game.
TakingVegas.com 1* Free Pick: Over 6 goals
Boston should be struggling this season, but they sit comfortably at 3-0. The win last night over Florida was impressive due to the defense’s ability to contain the dangerous Panthers offense. Given all their injuries, it’s scary to imagine how good this team could be once healthy.
As good as the Bruin’s defense has been, they will be on zero rest after playing a hard-fought game on Monday night. The Senators will return on three days’ rest and be hungry for their first win. Combine that with the Bruins putting up five or more goals in each of their three games, and you have a recipe for a shootout. We like the Sens at home, but that 6-goal total is too tempting. We’re taking the over in this one.