NHL Betting: Maple Leafs to leave Bruins in ruins


It was a breathless start to the play-offs last night and three more first round match-ups are getting started today.

If ferocious, physical hockey is your thing, then look no further than the Boston Bruins versus the Toronto Maple Leafs. There's no love lost between the two and the power forwards will be relishing this series, as both sides love to play a big hitting game. 

Neither club closed out the season in sparkling form and all four meetings in 2013 were extremely close, with the Bruins taking three of them. 

It's a particularly personal matter for Toronto's leading scorer Phil Kessel who started his career in Boston. If the Leafs are to win this series he will have to play a huge role. 

Kessel is 3.50 to score tonight and get some payback on the team that was willing to trade him. I think Toronto are good value for a Game 1 shock at 2.60 including overtime.

After Chicago were pushed all the way last night, the New York Islanders will be aiming to give the East's 1st seed Pittsburgh more than just a scare. 

The Penguins are as a low as 4.25 to lift the Cup, even at this early stage. The strength of their roster is there for all to see. 

Their goalie Marc-Andre Fleury is under a lot of scrutiny after his lack of performance in last year's play-offs, but he took them all the way in 2009 and should be able to shrug that off. 

Coming in off an impressive run in, the Islanders aren't to be discounted, though it's perhaps too brave to predict them winning the series. Take the safe option of Pittsburgh to get it done at 1.70.

Not too much separates the Vancouver Canucks and San Jose Sharks in recent years. Both have always been in the mix and they have they quality to make a deep run. 

San Jose are seeking revenge for their defeat in the 2011 Conference Final and have often been tarred with the tag of play-off chokers. 

Expectations of them are lower this year. They have a balanced team, but are not an offensive powerhouse. Netminder Antti Niemi is central to their hopes. 

With all the home sides edging through yesterday we saw the advantage it provides in the clutch moments. Back Vancouver in front of their own fans at 2.15.

Best Bet: Toronto Maple Leafs to win including overtime at 2.60

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