Nashville Predators vs. Boston Bruins - 12/23/13
Boston Bruins (24-10-2) at Nashville Predators (16-16-4)
NHL Hockey: Monday, December 23, 2013 at 8:00 pm (Bridgestone Arena)
The Line: Nashville Predators +119 / Boston Bruins -131 --- Over/Under: 5 See the Latest Odds
TV: NESN, FS-TN
The Boston Bruins look to go into the Christmas break with a winning mark, but they will have to go on the road to Nashville in search of a victory.
It is no secret that Eastern Conference teams have been dominated by Western Conference opponents so far this season. However, the Boston Bruins are one Eastern Conference team with a winning record against the West. The Bruins will look to build on that success, but will have to do it with an injury-plagued offensive unit. Already without Eriksson and Thornton, Brad Marchand missed Sunday’s practice with an undisclosed injury, but expects to play against Nashville.
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The Predators have floated right around .500 since the loss of net minder Pekka Rinne. Despite the absence of Rinne, Nashville ranks in the middle of the pack in the NHL with goals against at 2.8, which can be attributed to a solid defensive end and descent backup goaltending from Carter Hutton and Marek Mazanec. The Predators have dropped the last three games and have a 1-5 record in the last six games versus the Eastern Conference.
I don’t think this will be an easy win for Boston, especially given that the home team in this series is 6-0 in the last six meetings. Also, the Eastern Conference as a whole has had all kinds of problems on the road against Western Conference counterparts this season. Tough to play either side here, but I do lean toward the under even at 5 goals. In this matchup the under is 9-3-1 in the last 13 meetings, Nashville is 25th in the NHL in goals per game, and Boston is playing shorthanded on offense.