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Preview: Boston Bruins @ Winnipeg Jets

Mar 16, 2023; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Boston Bruins goalie Jeremy Swayman (1) makes a save as Winnipeg Jets forward Nino Niederreiter (62) looks for the puck during the second period at Canada Life Centre. Mandatory Credit: Terrence Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Time: 7:00 pm CST
Channel: TSN3
Radio: CJOB680/Power 97

If you are a betting person, then tonight might be a good game to go for the under big time (have no idea of the line or odds, so this is not official advice). Goals should be difficult to come by, as the visiting Boston Bruins have the 2nd least goals allowed this season. Not far behind, the Winnipeg Jets have the 3rd stingiest defense in the NHL, so snipers like David Pastrnak, Mark Scheifele, and Gabriel Vilardi will have their work cut out for them.

Partially responsible for those lack of goals, both franchises are getting above average goaltending from the likes of Jeremy Swayman (.933%), Linus Ullmark (.912%), Connor Hellebuyck (.916%), and Laurent Brossoit (.911%). But the two teams also are strong defensively and get 2-way commitments from all their skaters. The Bruins may have flashier names on the backend (Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo, & Hampus Lindholm), but the Jets’ Josh Morrissey & co have been getting the job done by committee.

The Winnipeg Jets have been slightly better at scoring this season, but the loss of sniper Kyle Connor was supposed to slow that down. Instead, Gabe Vilardi has gelled on the top line with Mark Scheifele & Nik Ehlers, pocketing 5 goals and 5 assists in the past 4 matches. The Jets also rely on one of the best checking lines in the NHL, with Adam Lowry, Nino Niederreiter, and Mason Appleton often assigned to shut down one of the opponent’s top 6 units.

The Boston Bruins don’t have the depth up front that they had last year, but they are getting contributions from all lines. That being said, the B’s do rely heavily on their top unit of Brad Marchand, Pavel Zacha, and David Pastrnak (combined 91 pts). So it might be said that the Jets have slightly better scoring depth to this point, as Boston has 11 players with at least 10 pts, while Winnipeg has 14 skaters above that mark. Where it falls apart for the Jets is on special teams, where the Bruins have a huge advantage (check out match up stats below).

The Jets are coming in hot, playing very well in 3 of their last 4 games while picking up 7 of 8 points. The Bruins have been getting used to being in tight contests, as their past four games have gone to overtime or shoot-out (3 OT losses & 1 SO win).

Here’s how the two teams match up:
GOALS FOR/GAME: Boston – 3.17 / Winnipeg – 3.35
GOALS AGAINST/GAME: Boston – 2.57 / Winnipeg – 2.58
SHOTS FOR/GAME: Boston – 31.6 / Winnipeg – 31.0
SHOTS AGAINST/GAME: Boston – 32.2 / Winnipeg – 28.8
POWERPLAY: Boston – 24.5% / Winnipeg – 16.7%
PENALTY KILLING: Boston – 87.5% / Winnipeg – 74.5%

The Winnipeg Jets (8-0-3) are without a regulation loss to the Eastern Conference and the Boston Bruins (9-0-2) are without one against the West. Somethings got to give….or will Boston make it 5 straight games of going to extra time? Let me hear your predictions tonight in the comments below.

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