There’s an Original Six NHL matchup between the New York Rangers and Boston Bruins as a matinee betting option on Black Friday in the USA called the NHL Thanksgiving Showdown. Which way to lean at BMR’s top-rated sportsbooks?
New York Rangers vs. Boston Bruins
Friday, November 26, 2021 – 01:00 PM EST at TD Garden
Black Friday in the United States – the day after Thanksgiving – is mostly known for shopping deals, but it’s also a great sports day with a ton of NBA, college football, college basketball, and NHL action. The NHL went dark on Thanksgiving and comes back big Friday with 13 games. Rangers vs. Bruins, an Original Six rivalry, is the first of them and is the first game of the season on ABC – a new league partner with ESPN (both owned by Disney). It’s officially called the 2021 NHL Thanksgiving Showdown.
Friday is the first meeting of the season between the Rangers and Bruins; they are scheduled for three games and the final two are right at the end of the regular season. The only way they could meet in the playoffs playing in different divisions would be in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Last year with the pandemic realignment, they were in the same division and Boston won five of eight but split four at home. Their most recent meeting was on May 8 in Boston and the Rangers won 5-4 with New York scoring four third-period goals and the Bruins three. The favorite is 9-3 at BMR’s top-rated books in the past 12 meetings.
Rangers Are Streaking
New York won for the sixth time in seven games Wednesday, 4-1 at the Islanders. Chris Kreider’s monster season continued with two goals, the first and the last for the Blueshirts in the game. He leads the team with 15 goals, which is tied for second in the NHL behind the 20 by Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl.
Kevin Rooney had the other two goals Wednesday, his fourth and fifth of the year. Ryan Reaves added two assists. It was Reaves’ first multi-point game since Jan. 2, 2018.
Essentially, if the Rangers score three goals they are going to win if No. 1 Igor Shesterkin is in the net, and there’s no reason he shouldn’t be Friday. Shesterkin stopped 21 of 22 shots vs. the Islanders to improve to 10-3-2 with a 2.24 goals-against average and .932 save percentage. The Russian has seven starts this season in which he has allowed one or no goals. Last year, he was 1-3-0 with a 3.35 GAA vs. Boston.
The Rangers have at least one point in 15 of 19 games and their 12-4-3 record for 27 points is the best mark for the franchise heading into Thanksgiving since it was 14-6-1 (29 points) on Thanksgiving 2016. New York lost winger Sammy Blais to a season-ending torn ACL last Sunday. He had four assists in 14 games. New York is 1-4 on NHL picks in its past five on the road.
Bruins Will Start Swayman Again
Boston won for the fourth time in five games Wednesday, a 5-1 cakewalk in Buffalo. The B’s scored four goals in a span of 5:40 in the first period. Linus Ullmark was set to start in net for Boston but apparently tweaked something in the morning skate so Jeremy Swayman got the call and stopped 24 of 25 shots to improve to 6-3-0 with a 2.23 GAA and .914. He will start this game because of no practice on Thursday to assess Ullmark’s status.
The Bruins got goals from five different players. Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak each had a goal and assist and Nick Foligno was two helpers. Brad Marchand leads the team with 21 points, while Pastrnak is second with 17 and Bergeron third with 15.
Defenseman Charlie McAvoy is fourth with 13 points but left Wednesday’s game in the third period after being boarded by Buffalo’s Zemgus Girgensons. McAvoy needed stitches around his eye, but hockey players usually play through that. Girgensons was assessed a five-minute major and a game misconduct.
Boston remains without center Trent Frederic, but he is "getting close" to a return to the lineup, according to coach Bruce Cassidy. Frederic hasn’t played Nov. 9 due to an upper-body injury.
Dating to last season, the Bruins are 17-5 on the NHL odds in their past 22 at home. So, we have to lean the B’s. If this game was at Madison Square Garden, I’d pick the Rangers. In the NHL, being at home is a major strategic advantage.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.