Senators at Penguins Picks and Game 5 NHL Odds
by Dave Schwab - 5/24/2013
The Ottawa Senators head back to the Consol Energy Center this Friday night looking to stay alive in their Eastern Conference Semifinals matchup against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 5 of this best-of-seven showdown. The puck is set to drop at 7:30 p.m. (ET), and the game will be broadcast nationally on the NBC Sports Network.
The Senators climbed back into this series with a crucial 2-1 overtime victory in Game 3 as +114 home underdogs after losing the first two games on the road. That burst of momentum did not last long after getting waxed 7-3 on Wednesday night as +120 underdogs at home to fall into a 3-1 hole in this series.
Pittsburgh came into these Stanley Cup Playoffs as a heavy favorite to win the East. And after needing six games to get past the pesky New York Islanders in the opening round, it appears to be hitting its stride in these conference semifinals. Behind a relentless offensive attack, the total has gone “over” in six of the Penguins first 10 playoff games.
Senators at Penguins Betting Storylines
Ottawa came into this series with high expectations after making short work of No.2 Montreal in the opening round. With that series tied at one game apiece, it rolled to three straight victories by a combined score of 15-4 to advance to this round. That newfound offensive burst did not last long after posting just nine goals in the first four games against the Penguins. This should not come as a big surprise considering it managed only an average of 2.3 goals a game in the regular season, which was ranked near the bottom of the NHL.
The Senators built a 2-1 lead in Game 4 on a Kyle Turris goal with less than four minutes to play in the opening period, but that did not last long, either, after Pittsburgh tallied two scores in the first two minutes of period two. The floodgates really opened in the third period when Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson was chased from the net with a three-goal barrage in less than nine minutes. His replacement, Robin Lehner, did not fare much better after allowing another score on just four shots. It remains to be seen which netminder the Senators will go with on Friday night.
The Penguins were the league’s highest-scoring team in the regular season with an average of 3.4 goals a game, and they are playing true to form in the postseason with four or more goals in eight of their first 10 games. Team captain Sidney Crosby has led the way with seven goals and seven assists, with Pascal Dupuis matching that goal total while adding three assists. Overall, the team has 10 different players with multiple goals in the postseason.
As potent as Pittsburgh has been on offense, the biggest story in these playoffs has been the play of Tomas Vokoun in relief of goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. Since taking over the net in Game 5 of the series against the Islanders, he has posted a 1.82 goals-against average while stopping 196 of the 208 shots he has faced for a save percentage of .942.
Senators at Penguins NHL Game 5 Betting Odds and Trends
The Senators are 5-2 in their last seven games after allowing five or more goals in their previous outing, and they are 4-0 in their last four games playing on one day’s rest. The total has stayed under in eight of their last 13 games in the conference semifinals.
The Penguins are 41-12 in their last 53 home games and 46-16 in their last 62 games following a win. The total has stayed under in 13 of their last 18 games at home.
In this matchup, Ottawa is 1-6 in its last seven road games against Pittsburgh, and the total has gone over in four of the last five meetings there. Overall, Pittsburgh has now won six of the last seven meetings between the two.
Senators at Penguins Picks and Game 5 Betting Predictions
The Senators had their chances in this series, but all the momentum has swung in Pittsburgh’s favor after Thursday night’s lopsided loss. The Penguins want no part of a return trip to Ottawa, so bank on them taking care of business on their home ice this Friday night to advance to the conference finals.
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