Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins will look to avoid a costly upset against the dangerous Ottawa Senators when they take to the ice in Pittsburgh on Saturday in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Finals matchup.
Not only are the reigning Stanley Cup champions favored to beat the Senators, but they are also the prohibitive favorite to win consecutive Stanley Cup titles. Now, let’ find out if the high-scoring Penguins will get the win in Game 1.
How to Bet The Ottawa Senators Vs Pittsburgh Penguins Game 1 NHL Betting Odds
NHL Odds: Pittsburgh -220 / Ottawa +180 / Total: 5.5
Why Bet the Ottawa Senators Odds at +180
“We didn’t have two good games here,” Ottawa coach Guy Boucher said of Games 3 and 4. “The players reloaded emotionally, mentally and physically for (Game 5), and we wanted to do the same in this game. We wanted to be better than we were both times we played here, and that meant the first period. We wanted to come out 0-0, 1-0 or only one behind and making sure we could build our game after that.
Ottawa got the series-ending win by beating New York 4-2 on Tuesday as Erik Karlsson scored one goal and added one assist while goaltender Craig Anderson stopped 37 shots. The Senators got past both, Boston and the New York Rangers in six games and has scored three goal or more in six of their eight postseason wins while limiting the opposition to two goals or less four times.
Ottawa finished the regular season ranked an uninspiring 22nd in scoring (2.5 gpg) but a solid 10th in goals allowed (2.6 gpg) and stupendous second in shutouts with 10.
Why Bet the Pittsburgh Penguins Odds at -220
The Penguins (58-24-7-5) smacked Columbus senseless in their 4-1 series win in the first round and dispatched top-seeded Washington in seven exciting games in the conference semis. Pittsburgh got the series-ending win by shutting out the Caps in their 2-0, Game 7 win on Wednesday as Bryan Rust and Patric Hornqvist both scored goals and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made 29 saves.
“They just always find a way to respond the right way to the challenges of adversities this league throws at us and they did it again tonight,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said of his team. “I think these guys are at their best when the stakes are high. That might have been the best game we’ve played in the playoffs to this point.”
Pittsburgh ranked a modest 17th in defense (2.8 gpg) in the regular season, but Sidney Crosby and company also led all of hockey in scoring (3.4 gpg) while ranking first in shot attempts and third in power play success (23.1 %).
Expert Pick & Final Score Prediction
While Ottawa has been very impressive this postseason and looks like a team that won’t bow out of the postseason without a fight, Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins are the pick to get the win in Game 1 at home and 68 percent of the betting public agrees!
Pittsburgh dropped two of three against Ottawa in the regular season, but that was before the Penguins hit ‘high gear’ for the postseason. The Senators are just 6-14 in the last 20 meetings against Pittsburgh and an awful 3-13 in the last 16 road dates against the Penguins while the home team in this rivalry has gone 20-8 in the last 28 meetings.
Maybe it’s me, but I just can’t bring myself to go against Crosby and the explosive Penguins after seeing them dispatch Washington (again) by upping the level of their collective play. Pittsburgh wins by two goals people to move one step closer to making back-to-back appearances in the NHL Finals.