NHL Betting Preview: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Boston Bruins Odds, Analysis

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NHL Betting Preview: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Boston Bruins Odds, Analysis
Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

Two teams that have struggled to string consecutive wins together lately will square off in Boston on Wednesday as the Bruins (32-22-6) host the Pittsburgh Penguins (30-20-8) as small betting favorites at sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark.

Boston is coming off a 6-4 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets as solid home favorites on Monday while Pittsburgh earned a 4-3 victory against the Buffalo Sabres as small road chalk on Sunday.

The Bruins had just returned to TD Garden following a fairly successful six-game road trip that saw them go 4-2 with wins over the Winnipeg Jets, Minnesota Wild, Dallas Stars and Blue Jackets. That was also the last time they won two in a row, starting the trip with victories at Winnipeg and Minnesota on February 11 and 13, respectively.

The Penguins have gone an even longer time since winning two straight, beating the Florida Panthers on the road and the Anaheim Ducks at home on February 6 and 8.

Since then, they have gone 2-1 in three road games and 1-2 in three home games. Pittsburgh is one of three Metropolitan Division teams with a winning road record at 13-11-4 while Boston is one of three Atlantic Division teams with a losing home mark at 12-15-3.

However, the Bruins have won the past four meetings with the Penguins, according to the Odds Shark NHL Database, along with six of seven and 10 of 12 if you count their playoff matchup in the 2013 Eastern Conference Final. Boston swept Pittsburgh in that series and has held the upper hand since then, with one home loss (3-2) taking place on November 24, 2014.

The teams have met twice already this season, and the Penguins have mustered just two goals combined in those two games, getting outscored by a 9-2 margin. In fact, they have averaged only one goal during their current four-game series skid versus the Bruins.

Making matters even worse for Pittsburgh offensively is that All-Star center Evgeni Malkin is still not ready to return from a knee injury. Malkin was hoping to be back by now and has not played since February 2, with the Pens going 5-4 in the nine games he has missed.

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