Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Ottawa Senators Game 6 Preview
Where: Canadian Tire Centre, Ottawa, ON
When: Tuesday, May 23, 2017, 8:00 PM ET
TV Broadcast: NBCSN
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Betting on the Pittsburgh Penguins (-1.5)
Somebody must’ve poked the defending Stanley Cup champs a little too hard, as the Pittsburgh Penguins mauled the Ottawa Senators in Game 5 on Sunday, 7-0. It’s the first time that the Penguins have gotten a lead in their best-of-seven series against the Senators.
Seven different Pittsburgh players scored a goal that evening, with team captain Sidney Crosby finding the back of the net for the third-straight game. Crosby also dished out a helper, giving him 100 assists in his playoff career. Returning right wing Bryan Rust, who sat out the last two contests with a concussion, also pitched in a goal and an assist.
On the defensive end, the Penguins’ decision to start goalie Matt Murray for the second-consecutive game paid off again. Murray secured his second-career shutout in the postseason by stopping all 25 of the shots he faced, and will likely earn the starting nod again over Marc-Andre Fleury in Game 6 after Sunday night’s dazzling performance.
With everything going the Pens’ way, they simply cannot be complacent in their attempt to close out the series in Ottawa this Tuesday. As you recall, they nearly squandered a 3-1, second-round series lead to the Washington Capitals before prevailing in the do-or-die Game 7 clash. But with momentum and playoff-winning pedigree on their side, fans from the Steel City will likely rejoice as their boys make a return to the final stage of the postseason for the second-straight year.
Betting on the Ottawa Senators (+1.5)
The postseason woes of the Ottawa Senators reared its ugly head again, with their offense going absent at the absolute worse time.
The Senators’ bid for their first-ever Stanley Cup title is on the verge of evaporating, mainly due to their inefficiency in man-advantage situations. They’ve now gone an abysmal 0-for-29 on power play, and even their penalty killing unit – five power-play goals allowed on 15 tries during the series – hasn’t clamped down on the Penguins either.
Goalie Craig Anderson has had a bad couple of outings at that, allowing seven goals on 49 shots the past two contests after stopping 80 of 83 Pittsburgh shots from Games 1 through 3.
It certainly doesn’t help that Ottawa’s star defenseman, Erik Karlsson, isn’t in his best shape. Head coach Guy Boucher opted to pull out the three-time All-Star by the end of the second period of Game 5 with the game out of hand and with Karlsson still nursing a leg injury that he suffered early in the playoffs.
Still, all’s not lost for the Sens. In the two other postseason games this year wherein a team had been beaten by six or more goals, the losers of those contests would go on to win the next game and eventually the entire series (Edmonton over San Jose in the first round; Anaheim over Edmonton in the second round). Here’s hoping that the Senators will have the same bounce-back moxie on Tuesday to force a deciding Game 7.
Make that back-to-back Stanley Cup Final trips for the Penguins (-150), 4-1.
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