After the excitement that the NHL postseason has delivered so far, the Stanley Cup Final is going to have a lot to live up to. The Eastern Conference Champions, and defending Stanley Cup Champion, Pittsburgh Penguins took the hard road to the finals, although their being there is not a really big surprise. The same cannot be said for the Nashville Predators, a team that most thought would be out in the first round after being pitted against the Chicago Blackhawks. This is an intriguing final because it will feature teams with very contrasting styles of play.
The Penguins are all about the offense with the likes of Crosby, Malkin, and Kessel all capable of changing a game with a big play. The Nashville Predators have made it to this stage of the postseason by being nothing short of brilliant on defense, particularly in net, where Pekka Rinne has been a rock. The first game of the Stanley Cup Final is set for Monday night in Pittsburgh, where both teams will be looking to get out to a fast start.
A Closer Look At The Predators At Penguins NHL Game 1 Free Picks
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
The Nashville Predators have been a very pleasant surprise in this postseason run, and while they don’t have what anyone would call a game changing player on offense, they play a team style where everyone does their part. They have very few weaknesses, but are going against the best offensive team in the NHL, which will put their defense to the test. They split the season series with the Penguins, and it was the home team who came up with the win in both games, so getting a split from the first 2 games of the Final is not going to be easy for this group. The Predators are well rested after disposing of the Ducks in 6 games, so they may be a little fresher than their opponents on Monday.
Why bet on the Pittsburgh Penguins
While the Predators have had some time to rest and heal, there may be just a little bit of rust in Game 1, which is something that the Penguins will try to jump on early in the opening game. Pittsburgh are sure to still be on a high after winning the Eastern Conference Final with a thrilling 3-2 double OT win in Game 7 versus the Ottawa Senators. It has been a bit of an up and down postseason run for the Penguins, but in fairness, they have had a tough path to the Final. This is a team that has a ton of playoff experience, and it is that which got them out of a couple of sticky Game 7 situations during this run.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
This is a series that looks set to be a long one, but I do believe that the Penguins will use their current momentum to get the win in Game 1.