Senators at Penguins Picks and Game 2 NHL Odds
by Dave Schwab - 5/17/2013
The Ottawa Senators will try and avoid falling into a 0-2 hole in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference Semifinals matchup against the Pittsburgh Penguins when the two clash this Friday night at the Consol Energy Center. Game 2 is set to get underway at 7:30 p.m. (ET), and it will be broadcast nationally on the NBC Sports Network.
Ottawa steamrolled its way into this series by ousting No.2 Montreal in five games in the opening round, but it had no answer for Pittsburgh’s relentless attack this past Tuesday night in a 4-1 loss in the series opener as a +170 road underdog. The total stayed “under” the 5.5-goal line.
It took the No.1-seeded Penguins six games to get by the New York Islanders in their opening-round series, but they have now outscored their opponents 12-4 in their last three games. The total had gone “over” in four of their last five games against the Islanders.
Senators at Penguins Betting Storylines
The Senators came into this series averaging four goals a game in the playoffs, which was far better than a 2.3 average that was ranked 27th in the NHL during the regular season. Kyle Turris led the team in scoring with only 12 goals, but he tallied three in the series against Montreal. Those scoring problems showed up again in Game 1 with just one Colin Greening goal early the first period. There is no way this team will beat Pittsburgh unless its starts finding some offense in a hurry.
Ottawa will also need a better performance from Craig Anderson in goal. He gave up four goals on just 30 shots in Game 1 after holding the Canadiens to a total of nine goals in that five-game series. The other concern on this end of the ice is the health of defenseman Eric Garba, who remains “questionable” after taking a hard hit on Tuesday night.
Pittsburgh was not at its top form against the Islanders through the first four games of that opening-round series. However, after hammering New York 4-0 in Game 5 as a -235 home favorite, it is starting to hit its stride in the quest for Lord Stanley’s Cup. The decision to bench Marc-Andre Fleury in favor of goalie Tomas Vokoun may have helped to cause that sudden spark. In three playoff starts he has a goals-against average of 1.28 and a .962 save percentage, but, more importantly, three-straight wins.
It also helps when you play goalie for a team that is averaging 4.14 goals per game. The Penguins have only scored less than four goals once in seven playoff games. That was when they dropped a 4-3 decision to New York in Game 2. Pascal Dupuis leads the team with six goals, and Evgeni Malkin has been on fire in the postseason with three goals and 10 assists. Sidney Crosby returned to the ice after an extended layoff due to a broken jaw and has scored three goals and six assists in six games. This kind of firepower is going to be hard to contain for any team that Pittsburgh faces in the postseason.
Senators at Penguins NHL Game 2 Betting Odds and Trends
The Senators are 6-2 in their last eight road games and 12-5 in their last 17 games following a loss of three goals or more. The total has stayed under in seven of their last 10 games on the road.
The Penguins are 45-15 in their last 60 games following a win and 40-12 in their last 52 games at home. The total has stayed under in 13 of their last 17 home games.
Head-to-head in this matchup, Ottawa is now 1-5 in its last six games in Pittsburgh. And while the total stayed under in Game 1, it had gone over in five of the previous seven meetings.
Senators at Penguins Picks and Game 2 Betting Predictions
Look for the Senators to do a better job in Game 2 at getting the puck past Vokoun after generating 36 shots on Tuesday night. Unfortunately, it will not be enough to get a much-needed win on the road. The top play in this matchup could actually be on the over. However, if playing a side, stick with the Penguins to grab the early 2-0 series edge.
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