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Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Ottawa Senators Predictions, Picks and NHL Preview – March 23, 2017

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Ottawa Senators Predictions, Picks and NHL Preview – March 23, 2017


Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Ottawa Senators Betting Preview

Where: Canadian Tire Centre – Ottawa, ON

When: Thursday, March 23, 2017 – 7:30 PM ET

Line: Pittsburgh Penguins (-135) vs. Ottawa Senators (+115); total: 5.5 – view all NHL lines

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Betting on the Pittsburgh Penguins (46-17-9, 101 points)

Moneyline: -135

The defending champs will enter the contest as winners of three straight games, and eight of their last 10. The most recent victory was Tuesday night’s 3-1 sinking of the the Buffalo Sabres, where they also clinched a postseason spot in the process.

Two-time Hart trophy winner Sidney Crosby, who scored one goal before getting two front teeth knocked out in the third period, got shaken up, although he should still be able to suit up for tomorrow. His 41 goals currently leads everyone the league and he’s a close second to Connor McDavid in points (82 to 81).

Crosby also has plenty of help on his side, most notably his number one partner in crime, Evgeni Malkin (33 goals and 39 assists).

The Penguins will parade great offensive and defensive weapons. Aside from the Crosby-Malkin tandem that powers the team to be first in the NHL in goals (252), they also have two good goalies in Matthew Murray (92.4 save percentage) and Marc-Andrew Fleury (91.1 save percentage).

Pittsburgh’s season series with Ottawa is tied at one apiece. In the win, unheralded right wing Bryan Rust starred for the Penguins, as he scored three of the team’s eight goals that night.

Betting on the Ottawa Senators (40-24-8, 88 points)

Moneyline: +115

The Senators snapped their four-game skid Tuesday night when they edged out the Bruins for the third time this year, 3-1. It was a huge, timely win as it helped them regain some lost momentum which, in turn, could be good for a deep playoff run.

The usual guys had the team going, with Kyle Turris, their leader in goals, finding the back of the net twice, and veteran goalie Craig Anderson making 33 saves. Mike Hoffman, a key facilitator of the club, meanwhile, had a pair of assists.

We can expect Turris, Hoffman, and another vital assist man Erik Karlsson, to all be impactful on offense for the upcoming contest – Karlsson’s 52 assists paces the team and it ranks third in the NHL.

Ottawa, as mentioned, split their previous two meetings with the Penguins. It’s really pretty even, as their scores on the two battles equate to 9-9. After getting blasted in the first encounter, 8-5, they got some revenge in their next outing, 4-1, with Hoffman, Mark Stone, Bobby Ryan, and Tom Pyatt each recording a goal, and Karlsson posting two assists. Turris got contained in that game, but he still contributed one power play assist.

The Senators are only a decent-scoring team (19th in goals and 22nd in power play percentage), but their defense is definitely above average, as they’re ranked inside the top 10 in goals against and save percentage.

Writer’s Prediction

The Penguins (-135) take it, 4-2.

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Written by JE

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