Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Nashville Predators Game 6 Preview
Where: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, TN
When: Sunday, June 11, 2017, 8:00 PM ET
TV Broadcast: NBC
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Betting on the Pittsburgh Penguins (+1.5)
With the massive 6-0 beatdown on Thursday, the Pittsburgh Penguins showed the Nashville Predators exactly why they’re the the league’s best team from the previous season and, as of this moment, the present.
The Penguins are now just one win away from repeating as Stanley Cup champions and would want nothing less than a series-clinching victory in Nashville. And if history has it, it could very well happen indeed. All four of Pittsburgh’s title-clinching victories throughout its history have come on the road.
In general, the Pens’ stars played with much more intensity than their opposition. Captain Sidney Crosby had three assists in the win to give him 20 career points in the Stanley Cup Final, becoming the new franchise leader in that category. Crosby also got into a scuffle with Nashville’s top defenseman P.K. Subban at one point, sending a message to the Predators that he and his team will not fall for any mind games that easily.
Veteran forward Phil Kessel also had three points in the win with a goal and a couple of helpers. To top it all off, 22-year-old center Jake Guentzel handed out an assist as well, giving him 21 points in the postseason that’s tied for the most by a rookie in NHL history.
The Pens have all the momentum they need heading into Nashville for Game 6. All they have to do now is not succumb to another disappointing performance on the road, but that’s really easier said than done. Which leads us to…
Betting on the Nashville Predators (-1.5)
Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne’s inconsistency ended up costing his Predators at the worst possible time.
Rinne, arguably the most imposing goalie this postseason, lasted just one period of work between the pipes in Game 5, surrendering three goals on just nine shots. Rinne’s backup in Juuse Saros didn’t fare as well in relief either, as he allowed three more goals from the Pens in the second period.
For all of their goaltending woes on Friday, though, the Predators still have a reasonable shot at extending the series. Rinne has allowed just two goals on 50 shots from the Penguins at home his past couple of outings, and perhaps a return to the Music City is where he’ll regain his mojo.
Speaking of home ice, the Preds are 9-1 in Nashville this postseason and we can be certain that the crowd at Bridgestone Arena will serve as a reinvigorating catalyst for the team. They also put up a pretty good fight in Game 5 as well outside of their goaltending woes, with their 24 shots taken equalling that of Pittsburgh’s. They also had the 41-37 edge in hits and had for more takeaways than the defending champs.
Let’s not forget that the Penguins lost the succeeding game following a dominant shutout. They blew away the Senators at home in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals, 7-0, only to fall to the Sens in Ottawa in their next meeting, 2-1.
The Predators (-140) force a do-or-die Game 7 in Pittsburgh with a pivotal 3-2 win.
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