NHL betting favourites Pittsburgh Penguins visit the Ottawa Senators for game 4 of the Stanley Cup playoffs Eastern Conference Finals on Friday with a 1-2 deficit – the first time the Pens have been behind in a series this postseason. Mike Hoffman, Marc Methot, Derick Brassard, and Zack Smith all scored for the Sens in the first period of game 3 on Wednesday, after which Pittsburgh goalie Marc-Andre Fleury was pulled outfor Matt Murray, who made 19 saves in his postseason debut. Kyle Turris made it (Hawaii) 5-0 at 18:18 of the second, while Ottawa goalkeeper Craig Anderson made 25 saves. Sidney Crosby scored the Penguins’lone goal.
Date: Friday, 19th May
Venue: Canadian Tire Centre
Sportsbook odds for fans who bet on hockey:
Penguins -1½ (+265) 5 (-115) -120
Senators +1½ (-325) 5 (-105) EV
Recent form: The Pens have lost two thirds of their last six games, and while they are 15-8 in their last 23 meetings with the Senators, Pittsburgh has won only one fifth of their last five encounters with Ottawa.
News: It was not all bad news for the Penguins, who can at least take the good with the bad. “I think we were good at being patient but also not sitting back,” Crosby said. “We generated some good chances, which we liked, and we’ll try to do much more of that here in Game 3.” In other news, defenseman Mark Streit could make his Pittsburgh postseason debut to fill one of the gaps created by injury.
Trends for fans who bet on hockey: The Penguins have been neglecting the spread a bit lately; they have covered only in 20% of their last six games and 0% of their last five against the Sens. The NHL betting total has gone under in four of the Pens’last five games with the Senators.
Recent form: The Senators have prevailed in four of their last five overall games, and have won three straight at home – where they are 4-1 on the last five occasions hosting the Pens. The team that wins Game 3 to take a 2-1 lead in a best-of-7 series is 205-99 all-time.
News: Forward Alexandre Burrows left game 3 in the second period after suffering a lower-body injury. Head coach Boucher said he was hoping Burrows could return tonight. In spite of the Sens’blowout of the Penguins, the jury is still out on whether Ottawa plays boring hockey. While Pete Blackburn of Fox Sports wrote the only thing boring about Wednesday was that the outcome of the game became a foregone conclusion as early as the first period, Deadspin’s Barry Petchesky concluded that the Senators are, in fact, still boring.
Trends for fans who bet on hockey: The Sens have not disregarded their covering duties; in addition to being 5-0 against the spread in the last five versus Pittsburgh, Ottawa is 5-0 ATS in the last five overall. The NHL betting total has gone over in two thirds of the Senators’last home games versus the Pens.