Penguins vs. Bruins (April 16): Pens, Bruins Look for Key Win as Playoffs Approach

By | April 16, 2022

The 2021-22 NHL season is set to wrap up in the coming weeks, making every remaining game matter more than ever. That even holds true for Saturday’s Pittsburgh Penguins vs Boston Bruins matchup.

The Penguins currently occupy the third-place spot in the Metropolitan Division with a 43-22-11 record. Although they’ve already qualified for a playoff spot, a 4-6-2 stretch in their last 12 games has been concerning for the fanbase.

Meanwhile, the Bruins sit in the Eastern Conference’s first Wild Card spot with a 45-24-5 record and are one point away from clinching a postseason appearance. Unfortunately, they’ve also struggled lately, losing a trio of their last four games — including the last three in a row.

As usual, here’s a look at everything you need to know for tonight’s Penguins vs Bruins game.

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Boston Bruins Matchup Info and Betting Odds

Matchup Information

  • Game Matchup: Pittsburgh Penguins (43-22-11, 97 points, 2nd in Metropolitan Division) vs. Boston Bruins (45-24-5, 95 points, 4th in Atlantic Division)
  • Venue & Location: TD Garden (Boston, Massachusetts)
  • Date: Saturday, April 16, 2022
  • Time: 12:30 p.m. ET
  • How to Watch Penguins vs. Bruins: NHL Network

Betting Odds

  • Moneyline: Pittsburgh Penguins +110, Boston Bruins -132
  • Total: OVER 6 (-105), UNDER 6 (-115)
  • Puck Line: Pittsburgh Penguins +1.5 (-235), Boston Bruins -1.5 (+188)

Odds are via FanDuel Sportsbook.

Penguins Searching for Consistency

Although the Penguins have been one of the better NHL clubs this season, one thing that they’ve missed in recent weeks is consistency.

The Penguins haven’t won consecutive games since they had a three-game winning streak from March 17 to March 22. They’ve gone on to win only four games since then, with only two of those victories coming in regulation.

Fans might be impressed by the fact that the Penguins have averaged 3.58 goals scored over the last 12 games, however, they’ve also given up the exact same amount. There just hasn’t been any consistent separation between them and their opponents.

Some of the Penguins’ key players have also been disappearing from the scoresheet lately. For example, Kasperi Kapanen is supposed to be a consistent middle-six contributor, but he hasn’t scored in nine games, recording just a single assist in that stretch.

Another player playing below his capabilities is Jeff Carter. After recording 26 points in his first 36 games, he has only 15 in the last 34. Furthermore, Carter has a team-worst minus-11 plus/minus rating over the last 12 games, implying that he must tighten up defensively.

Goaltending has also been a major issue over Pittsburgh’s recent slump. Tristan Jarry is 2-6-0 in his last eight appearances, recording a 3.48 goals-against average and .898 save percentage (SV%).

The fact of that matter is that the Penguins need all their players to perform consistently if they hope to make a deep playoff run.

As it stands, the Penguins will likely play either the New York Rangers or Carolina Hurricanes in the first round of those playoffs. Both of those teams are two of the best that the league has to offer and it’ll be tight for Pittsburgh to win a seven-game series if their team doesn’t tighten up.

The good news is that the Penguins already defeated the Bruins, 4-2, earlier this season, so there’s a decent possibility that the former can get some momentum rolling tonight.

Bruins Must Snap Streak to Avoid Wild Card

As mentioned before, despite their losing streak, the Bruins enter their matchup against the Penguins as the East’s top Wild Card team. While a playoff appearance is always appreciated, a first-round matchup against the Rangers, Hurricanes or Florida Panthers is far from idle.

In other words, the Bruins must snap their three-game losing streak against the Penguins if they hope to find a more manageable opening-round matchup.

One issue holding the Bruins back lately is their offense. They’re averaging 2.2 goals over the last five games and have scored exactly two in each of the last four outings. Beyond that, their power play is 0-for-18 during that stretch.

Some of Boston’s top players have all but disappeared during the club’s recent struggles. Taylor Hall and Brad Marchand haven’t scored at all during that span, while Patrice Bergeron’s team-leading four points aren’t anything mind-blowing.

Like the Penguins, the Bruins’ goaltending has also left much to be desired. Jeremy Swayman is 1-4-0 in his last five appearances with a 4.51 GAA and .855 SV%, which won’t cut it in the regular season or playoffs.

While Linus Ullmark has been much better lately (3-1-0 in last 4 GP with 1.60 GAA and .940 SV%), he left Thursday’s contest against the Ottawa Senators with an injury. If he isn’t healed, the Bruins may be forced to turn to Swayman once again.

At the end of the day, the Bruins have the sixth-toughest remaining schedule based on their opponents’ average point-per-game totals. They must prove that they can handle their remaining opponents if they want to prove that they’re championship contenders.

Beating the Penguins on Saturday afternoon would not only snap the Bruins’ skid but could also solidify them as a postseason threat.

Penguins vs. Bruins Prediction and Best Bets

Prediction: Bruins to win

Best Bet: Bruins ML (-132 at FanDuel Sportsbook)

The Bruins may be struggling for wins right now, but the Penguins aren’t lighting it up on the road either. This is pretty decent value for the home team in this spot, even if they aren’t at their best at the moment.

The post Penguins vs. Bruins (April 16): Pens, Bruins Look for Key Win as Playoffs Approach appeared first on Betting News.

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