Writing about sports and being asked to make predictions is a thankless task, mostly because bold predictions have a way of coming back and smacking you in the face. There are a lot of sports experts and betting gurus scratching their heads right now as they watch the Eastern Conference Final between the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins and the upstart Ottawa Senators. Most people, myself included, had this series being over rather quickly, as we all believed that the Penguins would be just too strong for the plucky Senators.
How wrong we all were, as this series is about to head into Game 4 with Ottawa holding a 2-1 lead. While this series is far from over, there have to be some legitimate concerns about the anemic offense that the champs have delivered so far. Is it a case of the big guns misfiring, or has the Ottawa defense figured out how to shut down the likes of Crosby, Malkin, and Kessel? If the latter is true, then this series could be over quickly, just not in the way we all expected. Find the latest MLB betting run lines here.
Analyzing The NHL Expert Predictions For Pittsburgh Penguins At Ottawa Senators Game 4
When: Friday, May 19 at 8 PM EST
Where: Canadian Tire Centre, Ottawa
TV: NBCSN, CBC, TVAS
Live Stream: NHL.TV
NHL Odds: Pittsburgh Penguins -1½ (+265)
Why bet on the Pittsburgh Penguins
What is going on with the Pittsburgh Penguins high-powered offense in this series? That is the question that is on the lips of everyone after a 5-1 defeat in Game 3. The Penguins have only managed to score 3 goals in the opening 3 games of this series, and but for the heroics of Marc Andre Fleury in a shutout performance in Game 2, the champions could be on the brink of elimination. Fleury was not at his best in the last game, giving up 3 quick goals in the first period before getting the hook. The damage was done by that point, and unless the offense can find a way to generate some pressure, the damage may be done in this series.
Why bet on the Ottawa Senators
The 5-1 win in game 2 was unexpected in several different ways, most notably because this Ottawa team has made it this far by winning close games, many of which have come via OT. Full credit to these Senators, though, as they have been able to exert some real pressure on a Penguins defense that is certainly not at full strength. Ottawa are doing what we expected from Pittsburgh, which is to spread out the scoring among several different players, with no less than 5 guys putting in 2-point performances in Game 3. The Senators have now won 4-straight home games, and a 5th would put them on the doorstep of the Stanley Cup Final.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
We all keep waiting for this Penguins offense to have a breakout night, but there are now some doubts as to whether it will happen or not. I don’t know if they will go big offensively, but the playoff experience of this team should get them back in the series.