Boston Bruins vs Ottawa Senators 03/11/13

Boston Bruins Tyler Seguin

Tyler Seguin by Dan4th

When the Boston Bruins visit the Ottawa Senators tonight it will be the classic road versus home team matchup. The Bruins own one of the NHL’s top road marks at 8-1-2, while the Senators are 9-1-2 at Scotiabank Place where the puck will initially be dropped at 7:30ET.

The rest of the won/loss data trends strongly in Boston’s favor. They have won in their last 9 consecutive visits to Ontario and are 10-1 vs. the Sens in their past 11 meetings overall. Ottawa has won its last 5 in a row on home ice but they are returning from a horrible 1-4 road trip. The Bruins are 16-3-3 halfway through this strike shortened season and Ottawa’s record is 13-8-4.

Part of the away woes suffered by Ottawa is due to the absence of top goalie Craig Anderson. He was playing at an elite level before an ankle injury sidelined him in February. Look for the Bruins top scorer Patrick Bergeron to be licking his chops at the prospect of facing the backup.

Bergeron had the game winning goal in overtime the last time these two teams met on February 28 in Beantown resulting in a 2-1 Boston victory. He has 6 goals and 15 assists with Brad Marchand leading the way in goals scored (12) and 20 points overall to Bergeron’s 21. Bergeron also has 3 goals in his last 2 trips to Ottawa.

Daniel Alfredsson has a meek total of 13 points overall to lead the Sens and Erik Karlsson only 6 goals to be ahead in that category. Ottawa wins and loses with defense. They rank first in goals against, but much of that had to do with the play of Anderson in his 15 appearances thus far. They are also 2nd in the league in the penalty kill, but just 27th in goals per game scored.

Boston’s success also stems from defense where they are only two places behind Ottawa in goals against (3rd) and the only team better than them on the penalty kill (92% to 89%). The big difference is the Bruins can also put the puck in the net with regularity, rating 9th in the NHL for goals scored. Even with its success on the penalty kill Boston won’t want to take any needless infractions. Ottawa does have a decent power play although it’s been lacking at home of late.

Boston’s the obvious choice here and I like them in a low scoring affair by 2 goals, let’s say 3-1.

Free Pick: Boston Bruins

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