Ottawa Senators vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Game 1 Preview
Where: PPG Paints Arena – Pittsburgh, PA
When: Saturday, May 13, 2017, 7:00 PM ET
TV Broadcast: NBC
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Betting on the Ottawa Senators (+1.5)
The Ottawa Senators are back in the Eastern Conference finals for the first time in a decade after they took care of the New York Rangers in six games. The Sens closed out the Rangers at Madison Square Garden, the second time in the playoffs that they’ve won a Game 6 on the road. Ottawa is 4-2 away from home in the postseason.
Goalie Craig Anderson didn’t have a great series as he finished with a 3.17 GAA and a .907 save percentage, but he came up big in Game 6, with 37 stops on 39 shots. Anderson has a 2.49 GAA and a .914 SV% in this playoff campaign.
Anderson had just one start against the Pens this season, and it wasn’t pretty. He gave up a season-high seven goals in an 8-5 Ottawa defeat. However, the Sens still won the season series over Pittsburgh, 2-1. They are +220 underdogs to oust the defending champs in this series.
Star defenseman and top Conn Smythe contender Erik Karlsson had a goal and an assist in Game 6 to push his playoff total to 13 points in 12 games. And that’s while playing nearly 29 minutes per game with a hairline fracture on his foot. Karlsson was very effective against the Pens in the regular season as he put up seven points in three meetings.
Ottawa went just 1-of-18 on the power play against New York, something they’ll have to improve upon to keep pace with the Pens’ high-powered attack. The Sens went an impressive 6-for-12 against Pittsburgh on the man advantage during the regular season.
Betting on the Pittsburgh Penguins (-1.5)
The Pittsburgh Penguins improved their remarkable record in Game 7s on the road to a perfect 6-0 as they once again ousted the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Washington Capitals with a 2-0 win.
Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, who has been the story of the postseason for the Pens, came up huge once again in Game 7. He made 29 saves en route to his first shutout of these playoffs. Fleury now has a 2.55 GAA and a .927 save percentage in the postseason.
The Pens had a bit of a wobble in Games 5 and 6 against the Caps, but their blue-line has held up well surprisingly despite missing top defenseman Kris Letang. Trevor Daley has also missed two games with a lower-body injury, and remains questionable to play in Game 1. Meanwhile, forward Carl Hagelin missed Game 7 and has been a relative non-factor in the playoffs.
However, the Pens have hardly been short of firepower. Evgeni Malkin had another very good series against the Caps with 3 goals and 4 assists, as he continues to lead the playoffs with 18 points; Sidney Crosby has picked up a point in each of his three games since missing Game 4 with a concussion; and rookie Jake Guentzel has continued his remarkable postseason run with 4 goals and 4 assists against the Caps, and now has 14 points in the postseason.
The Pens (-220) draw first blood with a 4-2 home win in Game 1 over the Sens.
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