NHL Game of the Week: Islanders at Bruins Preview and Betting Pick

NHL Game of the Week

The NHL game of the week is the third meeting between these two teams, the New York Islanders vs. the Boston Bruins, on Thursday 2/25 at 7:00 pm.

This game has primetime, gritty, hit-filled hockey written all over it. The Islanders have taken the first two games of this series by scores of 1-0 and 4-2, both with Semyon Varlamov in net, and guess who’s in net for the Islanders tonight? Semyon Varlamov. Both games the Bruins lost also featured their starting goaltender, Tuuka Rask, and he will be in between the pipes again tonight. Varlamov has only given up 2 goals to this Boston team all year, and Rask has given up 5 to this Islanders team.

The Islanders currently sit at 4th in the eastern division with a record of 9-6-3 to total 21 points. The Bruins sit at 1st in the East Division with a record of 11-3-2, good for 24 points. This is a massive game for both teams because if the Islanders win, they will be 1 singular point out of 1st place in the eastern division with 23. If the Bruins win, they will solidify themselves as the team to beat by putting some distance in between them and the second-place Washington Capitals with 26 points.

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This will be the first time that both teams will be facing each other fully healthy. The Islanders were without Jean-Gabriel Pageau and defenseman Ryan Pulock. The Bruins did not have star-forward David Pastrnak for the first meeting between the two teams, but he is back, coming off a hat trick against the Flyers, and is ready to face this Islanders team. The Bruins average 2.9 goals a game, and Semyon Varlamov averages 2.06 goals against per game, so something is going to have to break either Varlamov’s 4th best GAA among all goalies or the Bruins NHL leading goals per game.

Time for a blind score prediction; I think this will be a close game decided by an empty-net goal in the final minutes, so I’ll go with the Islanders winning this one 3-1 with an empty netter after Rask is pulled in the final minute of regulation.

You can catch this game only on MSG+ because the Devils will be taking on the Sabres on MSG. The puck drop is on Thursday, 2/25/21, at 7:00 pm EST.