NHL free picks: Maple Leafs vs. Rangers, Bruins vs. Blackhawks
Original Six rivalries will be renewed Wednesday night, when the Toronto Maple Leafs visit the New York Rangers and the Boston Bruins take on the Chicago Blackhawks. Here are our betting previews for both contests.
Toronto Maple Leafs vs. New York Rangers odds
Toronto Maple Leafs
New York Rangers
Maple Leafs netminder Frederik Andersen is out with a neck injury (day-to-day), so they’ll turn to Michael Hutchinson (4-8-1, 3.62 GAA, .886 save percentage) to try and grab two points against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. New York will counter with promising rookie netminder Igor Shesterkin (3-1-0, 2.51 GAA, .927 save percentage).
Monday’s 5-3 loss to Florida was emblematic of the Maple Leafs’ struggles when Andersen is out of the lineup. Toronto was ahead after one frame, then Andersen was removed after he was involved in two collisions. Hutchinson allowed three goals on 13 shots, which gave the Panthers a lead they would not relinquish. Rangers points leader Artemi Panarin (17 points in his last 11 games) is probably licking his chops in anticipation of this matchup.
New York will look to bounce back following a 5-3 loss to the Stars on Monday night, but they’ve demonstrated an ability to do so in the recent past. The Blueshirts are 7-3 in their last 10 games after allowing five or more goals in their previous contest.
NHL free pick: Rangers moneyline
Boston Bruins vs. Chicago Blackhawks odds
The Bruins have won four in a row and appear to be catching the Blackhawks—who have lost of two of their last three following a five-game win streak—at just the right time.
Boston has outscored the opposition 15-4 during its four-game win streak. The Bruins thrived on special teams in that span. They cashed in on six of their 23 power-play chances (26.1 percent) and killed 14 of the 15 penalties they’ve taken (93.3%). Jaroslav Halak, expected to start in net for the Bruins, is 8-2-3 with a 2.13 GAA and .929 save percentage all-time against Chicago.
The Blackhawks’ stars are slumping heading into this game. Jonathan Toews and Dominik Kubalik have been held off the scoresheet in each of their last three games, and Patrick Kane had a 12-game point streak snapped in a 3-2 loss to the Wild (a team Boston defeated 6-1 Saturday) on Tuesday night.