Pittsburgh NHL Playoffs 2nd Round Winning Predictions
The Metropolitan Division was far and away the strongest in the NHL during the regular season, and as we enter the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, 3 of the 4 teams still in contention in the Eastern Conference come from that division. The Pittsburgh Penguins, who just happen to be the defending Stanley Cup champions, blazed through the opening round, knocking off the potent Columbus Blue Jackets in just 5 games. The win came at a bit of a price, though, as the Penguins picked up a couple of major injures, the most notable of which was a Kris Letang neck injury that will see him miss the remainder of the playoffs. Next up for the Penguins are the Washington Capitals, the team that won the President’s Trophy for the second straight season. Find the latest NHL betting predictions here.
In Depth Analysis On The Penguins NHL Playoffs 2nd Round Winning Predictions
Head to Head Versus the Washington Capitals
If ever a series seemed destined to go the full 7 games, it would appear to be this one. The Penguins and Capitals have split their regular season series in each of the last 4 seasons, but in the past couple of years, something of a trend has developed when these two go head to head. Of the 8 games that have been played during that stretch, it has been the home team that has come away with the win in 7 of those games. This is a series that will likely deliver goals, with the 4 games this season delivering a rather staggering 35 goals, which included an 8-7 win for the Penguins in their last meeting. Having to play an extra game on the road in this series could prove problematic for the Penguins given how things have gone so far.
We already know that the Penguins are a team that can handle the rigors of playoff hockey, since they are the defending Stanley Cup champions. The Washington Capitals are a team that seem built for the regular season, as they always seem to struggle once the playoffs begin. These two teams have met twice in the playoffs, and it was the Penguins who won both series. Their most recent meeting came last year, when Pittsburgh took out the Caps in 5 games. Advantage to the Penguins here.
Goalie Head to Head
Things looked bleak for the Penguins when goalie Matt Murray was forced out through injury before the first puck was dropped in the playoffs. Marc Andre Fleury, a man who was on the trading block not so long ago, stepped in and provided experience and quality goaltending, delivering a .933 save percentage through the first round. On the other side, Braden Holtby of the Capitals has a .936 save percentage through the playoffs, so it’s pretty much even there.
Pittsburgh Penguins Second Round Prediction
With little to choose between these two teams, the outcome of this series may well come down to coaching. Mike Sullivan has already taken his Penguins to the Promised Land, while Barry Trotz has never coached a team past the second round of the playoffs.