It took the Bruins 6 games vs. the Blue Jackets to get past the 2nd round but they look like they belong in the Eastern Conference Finals after an impressive Game 1 win. Boston has now won four straight postseason games, and has momentum at home heading into the May 12th NHL playoffs free pick. The Bruins are -151 favorites Sunday at TD Garden, but can the Hurricanes steal one with a +131 payout?
Hurricanes Anxious to Get Back on the Ice
Carolina was great in Round 2, sweeping the Islanders in a series they were heavy underdogs in. As a result of winning in four games however, the Hurricanes had 5 days off until Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals and the rink rust showed as Boston scored a 5-2 win. There are a few bright spots that Carolina can take into the May 12th NHL playoffs free pick despite the loss Thursday. The first of which is that Carolina took a 2-1 lead into the 3rd period in Game 1 and largely outplayed Boston in 5 on 5 situations. Two PP goals from the Bruins in the 3rd, and empty netter, and a late add-on made Game 1 look much worse than it actually was. ]
Sebastian Aho netted a goal in game one, his third straight contest with a score in the postseason. The ‘Canes loss was their first in six postseason games and their offense has scored 4+ in four of those. A big question facing Carolina on Sunday is what they should expect from Petr Mrazek. The goaltender returned in Game 1 after missing two contests with a lower body injury. Mrazek only stopped 23 of 27 shots, but was out for 10 days between appearances. Maybe he’ll be sharper back in more of a normal routine?
Boston Looks for More of the Same in Game 2
The Bruins were actually outshot 31-28 on Thursday but they made the most of those opportunities with 5 goals. It was Boston’s fourth straight win in the postseason, and they’ve also netted 4+ goals in three of the last four. The Bruins did force Carolina into five penalties and they scored two PP goals. Boston has the #1 power play unit of the postseason, scoring on 30% of their opportunities. The Bruins actually scored the Game 1 win a bit shorthanded, as Charlie McAvoy was serving a suspension for an illegal hit vs. Columbus. The defenseman is back for the May 12th NHL playoffs free pick.
The moneyline is high (-151) for a playoff game but there’s still value on Boston with Tuukka Rask in net. The veteran goaltender has a .938 save percentage for the playoffs and has allowed 2 goals or less in 8 of the last 10 games in this postseason. 5 of the last 7 Bruins games in these playoffs have gone ‘under’ thanks largely in part to the prowess of Rask in net. Sunday’s O/U is set at 5.5.
May 12th NHL Playoffs Free Pick Betting
Nearly 70% of the public is laying the heavy ML on Boston in the May 12th NHL playoffs free pick. The Bruins are a modest 5-3 at home in the playoffs however. The Bruins are the more talented team, but Carolina should be much better than they were in Game 1. Mrazek in net is still a risk however and with the offensive firepower that both teams can bring another high scoring outing isn’t out of the question.
NHL Playoffs Free Pick: Hurricanes / Bruins *Over* 5.5