NHL Thursday Games Preview and Predictions

Can Boston Win a Back-to-Back, and in MSG?

Our NHL Thursday games previews have 13 -games to choose from starting with a showdown in Madison Square Garden between the Boston Bruins (35-5-4, 74 points) and the New York Rangers (25-13-7, 57 points). The Bruins are playing the second of back-to-back games after disposing of the New York Islanders, 4-1, last night. The Winnipeg Jets (29-15-1, 59 points) travel to Toronto to take on the Leafs (27-11-7, 61 points) in what is clearly the second featured game on the NHL Thursday game preview card.

Must-Watch Television

Bruins logo Boston Bruins at New York Rangers Rangers logo

NHL Over/Under: Bruins +1200 units ML, 20-20 at Rangers -230 units ML, 19-25 O/U
Date, Time & Streaming:
Moneyline: -110 Puckline: N/A
Total: 5.5 (o -115)

The juggernaut that is the Boston Bruins rolls into MSG to take on the New York Rangers who, like everyone else, are curious to see if they’ve fully recovered from the last time these two teams got together, a 5-2 Boston win. We suspect the best way to stay with Boston is to grind out a defensive win like the Islanders attempted to do last night.

The Bruins feature the league’s top offense, averaging 3.83 goals per game and the top goaltending tandem that has allowed just 2.09 goals per game. The number on this game is curious with Jim Montgomery’s team being on such a roll since day one against Gerard Gallant’s Rangers have struggled to find an identity for most of the year.

‘The 74% of the early money has come in on Boston, pushing the opening number of NYR -125 to -110 each way.’

Bettors have made their feelings known, even with Jeremy Swayman expected to start in the crease for Boston, opposite of Igor Shesterkin for the Rangers. The 74% of the early money has come in on Boston, pushing the opening number of NYR -125 to -110 each way.

We recommend staying away from the side because this is going to be another low scoring affair with the under cashing on back-to-back nights for Boston.

Jets logo Winnipeg Jets at Toronto Maple Leafs Maple Leafs logo

Date, Time & Streaming:
NHL Points: Jets 29-15-1, 59 points at Leafs 27-11-7, 61 points
Puckline: Maple Leafs -1.5 (+145), Jets +1.5 (-170)
Moneyline: Maple Leafs -165, Jets +140
Total: 6.5 (u -120)

The Toronto Maple Leafs are getting a lot of early love in this one after the opening number has been pushed up from Toronto -155 to -170. 63% of all the early tickets have come in on Toronto who have won three of their last four games.

It’s a curious position considering how good the Jets have been against the NHL puck line this season, covering 28 of their 45 games. Against the money line they have been terrific with 953 units of profit when betting to win $100. Toronto has been less kind to the players with -527 units lost.

There is no doubt the Jets should be motivated after dropping a 4-1 decision to the Montreal Canadiens to start their road trip. Winnipeg was lethargic against Montreal, something they can’t be against the speed of the Leafs. Toronto has their own reasons to be motivated in victory after falling behind the Florida Panthers, 4-2, after goaltender Matt Murray allowed four goals on eight shots.

Toronto came back to win, 5-4, in overtime but clearly the performance wasn’t what head Coach Sheldon Keefe would call a good NHL effort. We’re going to be on Toronto in this one although no one is excited about giving up -165.

Ice Chips

Lightning logo Tampa Bay Lightning at Edmonton Oilers Oilers logo

Date, Time & Streaming:
NHL Points: Lighting 29-13-1, 59 points at Oilers 25-18-3, 53 points

On most NHL Thursday game preview columns, this would be the top game on the schedule, but with a giant card on tap it fell to the number three spot.

Tampa will be playing their third game of a 5-game road trip as they roll into Edmonton to face an Oilers team they’ve handled in the past, but the Oilers were victorious last time out to break up a five-game losing streak versus Tampa.

There isn’t any angle in this that would have us rushing to the betting counter, but there are games that you should sit back and enjoy.

With both teams supporting winning streaks, it should be fun to see if the Lightning can get back into the Atlantic Division race against one of the league’s most dangerous offenses.

Wait For the Highlights

Blackhawks logo Chicago Blackhawks at Philadelphia Flyers Flyers logo

Date, Time & Streaming:
NHL Points: Blackhawks 12-26-4, 28 points at Flyers 19-19-7, 45 points

In what is clearly the least interesting game on the schedule on paper, could actually be a fun game to watch if you like offense. We think this will be filled with plenty of power play chances for two teams who are sloppy most nights in their own end. The total is 6 (0 -115), so let’s go with the over in a game that otherwise would be a waste of time to watch.

That does it for NHL Thursday games preview. Let’s hope the players can continue their incredible run on the totals.
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