NHL Betting: Bruins to punish Pens

Boston became the first team to register a shut-out against the Pittsburgh Penguins since February 2012 as they took an impressive road win and a 1-0 series lead in the Eastern Conference Final. Dropping both home games at the start of the series would be disastrous for Pittsburgh; that's a hole very few teams manage to dig themselves out of. The Bruins can play tonight without pressure then, but it may be wiser to stick with the tight, mistake-free gameplan that worked so well on Saturday. That opening result has really evened up the odds to progress: Boston are now at 1.84 to Pittsburgh's 1.88.

Already tensions are running high with the Pens' frustrations showing a number of times, most notably in some skirmishes involving Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. It's certainly a good tactic by the Bruins to try and disrupt those guys; Malkin in particular has been shown in the past to be prone to taking silly penalties when harassed. At the back, star defenceman Kris Letang had a tough night and I think they will continue to target him. It's certainly a mismatch in size around the net against Nathan Horton and Milan Lucic. Horton had a goal in Game 1 and could be good value tonight at 3.50.

Pittsburgh are still heavy favourites for this one at 1.95, but this is the first time they've been down in a series this year and it's going to reveal a bit more about them as a team. One win down, Boston have to be worth a go here out at 3.50, with Consol Energy Center bound to get extremely nervy if the Bruins go out and get the first goal. The Penguins should make a scoring impression this time so a safe option is over 4.5 total goals at 1.50.

Best bet: Boston Bruins to win at 3.50