After what has been an incredibly long, not to mention exciting, NHL season, we have finally reached the point where we are down to the final two teams. You have to go all the way back to the 1997-98 season to find the last time a team won back to back Stanley Cup’s, which gives you an idea of just how difficult it is to do. It was the Detroit Red Wings who did it back then, and it is the Pittsburgh Penguins who are looking to achieve that feat this year. The Penguins have taken the long, difficult path to the final, needing to win a pair of Game 7’s to get to the final.
They bring a ton of experience with them, though, and need to be considered the favorites to win it all. The Nashville Predators are the surprise team of the postseason, but they are fully deserving of their spot in the Stanley Cup Final. They have used great goaltending and solid defense to get here, but they will be up against it versus a high-powered Penguins offense. Game 1 of the series is set for Monday night in Pittsburgh.
Here’s A Closer Look At The 2017 NHL Expert Picks For Predators At Penguins Game 1
When: Monday, May 29 at 8 PM EST
Where: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh
TV: NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS
Live Stream: NHL.TV
NHL Odds: Pittsburgh Penguins -1½ (+190)
Why bet on the Nashville Predators
In their run to the Stanley Cup Final, the Predators have faced some tough opponents, but nothing quite like the Pittsburgh Penguins. Each of the three teams that the Predators eliminated – Chicago Blackhawks, St. Louis Blues, and Anaheim Ducks – averaged less than 3 goals per game during the regular season, which allowed Nashville to play their defensive style to perfection. They are now going up against an offensive juggernaut, as well as the top scoring team in the NHL, and you have to believe that Pekka Rinne and his defense are going to be put under a tremendous amount of pressure, especially in the opening minutes of Game 1.
Why bet on the Pittsburgh Penguins
Perhaps the biggest question surrounding the Pittsburgh Penguins heading into the Stanley Cup Final is in regards how much gas they have left in the tank. They have now played back to back 7 game series, and have had to deal with more than their fair share of injuries along the way. They have had a few days off to recharge the batteries, and should be ready to go in Game 1. It certainly helps that they are going to be playing in front of their own fans in what should be a brilliant atmosphere inside the PPG Paints Arena. This is a team that has game changing players up and down the line-up, which should work well in their favor.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
I don’t believe that this is going to be a short series, as I expect it to go 6, and maybe even 7 games. The Predators need a road win, but I don’t see them getting it in Game 1.