Penguins vs Islanders 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs Odds & Expert Pick for Game 1

Penguins vs Islanders 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs Odds & Expert Pick for Game 1

Written by on April 10, 2019

The New York Islanders have been one of the biggest surprises in the NHL this season and when they face Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, it’s with the home-ice advantage in a series for the first time since 1988. The Isles are short NHL playoff betting favorites for Game 1.

How to Bet Penguins vs Islanders 2019 Playoffs Game 1 Odds & Info

Season Series

They split four meetings and most recently played Dec. 10, when the Islanders lost 2-1 in a shootout at home. Jake Guentzel scored the decisive goal in the tiebreaker. Guentzel also assisted on Derick Brassard’s tying goal in the third period. Penguins star Phil Kessel beat Robin Lehner in the first round of the shootout, but Josh Bailey scored on New York’s third attempt to keep the tiebreaker going. Valtteri Filppula was denied by Casey DeSmith before Guentzel closed out the win for Pittsburgh at Nassau Coliseum. Anthony Beauvillier scored in the second period for the Islanders, and Robin Lehner finished with 23 stops.

Why Bet on Pittsburgh?

The Penguins have made the Stanley Cup playoffs for the 13th season in a row. It is the longest active streak in the NHL by far as Nashville and Washington are tied for the second spot with five straight seasons in the postseason. When the puck drops on Wednesday night for Game 1, it will be just the third time in those 13 years that the Pens will begin the postseason on the road.

Opening on the road may secretly be a blessing for the Pens. The team’s road record this season is 21-12-8 for 50 points. That point total matched what they earned at home (23-14-4). Pittsburgh ranks second in both power play (32.4 percent) and penalty kill (85.7) on the road. At home, the Pens rank 20th with the man-advantage (18.3) and last in the league in penalty kill (73.6).

Sidney Crosby is tied for 10th all-time in Stanley Cup playoff scoring entering the 2019 postseason. Crosby has 185 points, the same as former Detroit great Steve Yzerman. He trails Doug Gilmour and Joe Sakic by three points, Brett Hull by five and Paul Coffey by 11 points. He could catch Jaromir Jagr for fifth all-time as the former Pen has 201 points, 16 ahead of Crosby if the Penguins make a deep run this season.

The Penguins averaged 33.3 shots on goal per game this season, fifth most in the NHL. The New York Islanders averaged 28.8 shots on goal, lowest among playoff teams and tied for 29th in the NHL.

Pittsburgh finished the regular season losing three of its final five games. Blueliner Jack Johnson practiced on the Penguins’ top pairing on Monday. Johnson was working with Kris Letang because Brian Dumoulin is sidelined with an injury. It’s unclear if Dumoulin will be ready to go in time for Game 1 against the Islanders on Wednesday night.

Something hasn’t been right with Matt Murray dating to early last season. He has shown flashes of the goaltender he can be but overall he was just decent this year with a .919 save percentage and 2.69 goals-against average.

Team Stats

Offense
  • Goals: 3.33
  • Shots: 33.30
  • PP/PK Percentage: 24.56

Defense

  • Goals: 2.94
  • Shots: 33.24
  • PP/PK Percentage: 20.27

Why Bet on NY Islanders?

The Islanders and Penguins’ first-round playoff meeting marks the fifth postseason series between the two. The Penguins won their first-round series in six games in 2013. But the Islanders beat them in a seven-game division final in 1993, a five-game first-round series en route to their third of four straight Stanley Cups in 1982 and rallied from a 3-0 series deficit to win a seven-game quarterfinal in 1975 in the franchise’s first trip to the playoffs.</p.

Of course, New York’s first-year coach is Barry Trotz, who led the Capitals to their first Stanley Cup title last year. The Isles closed the season well, winning four of their final five. The Islanders will open the playoffs at home for the first time since 1988, and they should get a raucous atmosphere at the renovated Nassau Coliseum.

Penguins vs Islanders is going to be a close one.

Thomas Greiss and Robin Lehner won the Williams Jennings Trophy this season. The trophy is given to the team that allows the fewest goals during the regular season and it is shared if two or more goalies play at least 25 games. The Islanders gave up 196 goals this season, nine better than the second-place Dallas Stars. What is even more impressive is that the Islanders gave up 296 goals last season, the most in the NHL. They are the first team to do so in 100 years when the Ottawa Senators did so in the second season of the NHL.

Lehner is the likely starter for the Islanders in Game 1 against the Penguins. Lehner finished the season with a 24-13-5 record to go with a 2.13 GAA and a .930 save percentage.

The Isles’ power play has been dreadful at times, finishing 29th in the league, at 14.5 percent. The penalty kill is below league average at 79.9 percent.

New York needs more Mathew Barzal, the 2018 Calder Trophy winner who has lit the lamp only once in his last 24 games. While Barzal is more adept at setting up goals, his lack of scoring has to be a concern of the Islanders as he has 18 goals and 62 points this season after a 22 goal, 85 point rookie season last year. Barzal still led the Islanders in points.

Team Stats

Offense
  • Goals: 2.78
  • Shots: 28.74
  • PP/PK Percentage: 14.54

Defense

  • Goals: 2.39
  • Shots: 30.90
  • PP/PK Percentage: 20.55

Penguins vs Islanders 2019 Playoffs Betting Trends

  • Favorite is 48-23 in the last 71 meetings
  • Under is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings in New York
  • Pittsburgh is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games on the road
  • Pittsburgh is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games on the road
  • The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Pittsburgh’s last 8 games on the road
  • NY is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games at home
  • NY is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games at home
  • The total has gone UNDER in 5 of NY Islanders’s last 6 games at home

Expert Final Score Prediction for Penguins vs Islanders

Pittsburgh Penguins 4 – NY Islanders 3

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