We all tend to pick our NHL playoff contenders based on how each participating team did in the regular season. The problem here is that regular season hockey and playoff hockey are two entirely different beasts. If you don’t believe that to be true, just take a look at the Washington Capitals. They have won the President’s Trophy for the best record in the NHL in back to back seasons, but have been unable to get beyond the second round of the playoffs in the past two years.
The defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins are once again going deep into the postseason, but their high-powered offense, which ranked #1 in the regular season, is being held in check by the Ottawa Senators in the Eastern Conference Final. Through the first two games of this series, we have seen a tight defensive struggle, and we are heading back to Ottawa with the series knotted at 1-1. The Senators stole home ice advantage from the Penguins in the first two games, but can they hold onto it by winning both of their home games?
Here’s A Closer Look At The NHL Betting Picks For Pittsburgh Penguins At Ottawa Senators Game 3
When: Wednesday, May 17 at 8 PM EST
Where: Canadian Tire Centre, Ottawa
TV: NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS
Live Stream: NHL.TV
NHL Odds: Pittsburgh Penguins -1½ (+235)
Why bet on the Pittsburgh Penguins
This series was supposed to be one that the Penguins would be able to navigate without too much difficulty, but they have not looked particularly sharp through the first two games. They are having a tough time breaking down a very stubborn Ottawa defense, and only managed to light the lamp twice in those opening games. The fact that they have played some surprisingly good defense of their own is the only reason why they are heading north of the border with the series tied. The Penguins played on Ottawa twice during the regular season, losing both games, and only managing to score two goals. Are we seeing a trend here, or can the champions step up the offense?
Why bet on the Ottawa Senators
The Senators have done a fantastic job of shutting down Crosby and his pals through the first two games of this series, but you have to believe that they will open things up a little more when they get into their own building. Despite the fact that the Senators have been scoring at a decent clip throughout the playoffs, the feeling coming into this series was that they would have a hard time keeping pace with what the Penguins can do in the attacking zone. They haven’t had to worry about that yet, but you still feel that there is going to be a game or two where the offense is going to need to step up before this series is all said and done.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
I still believe that there are goals to come in this series, and I would not be surprised to see them arrive in Game 3. The Senators are going to need to play a more open style of hockey at home, and this may come back to bite them.