The Pittsburgh Penguins will attempt to settle their NHL betting unfinished business with the Ottawa Senators once and for all tonight. The Pens blew the Sens right out of the water – or should that be out of the ice? – 7-0 on Sunday to take a 3-2 lead in the Stanley Cup playoffs Eastern Conference Finals. The Penguins scored four goals in the first period and three times on the power play and out the Senators on the brink of suffering the same fate as their Roman namesakes circa AD 603.
Time: 8:00 PM
Venue: Canadian Tire Centre
Sportsbook odds for fans who bet on hockey:
Penguins -1½ (+215) 5 (-140) -140
Senators +1½ (-255) 5 (+120) +120
Recent form: The Penguins have won three of their last four games and the second straight with Matt Murray back under the goalposts. Murray made 25 saves for his second shutout in 24 career postseason games. The team that has won game 5 to take a 3-2 lead in a best-of-7 series is 198-54 in NHL history, including 5-0 this season.
News: In spite of the ballooned scoreboard, the Pens are aware that it’s the next game that counts. “A win is a win, it doesn’t matter what the score is,” captain Sidney Crosby, who reached 100 postseason assists on Sunday, said. It is about how you play the next game. I think we expect a desperate group and I think you don’t get to the Eastern Conference Final without that ability to bounce back.”
Trends for fans who bet on hockey: There’s no denying that winning is all that matters to the Pens, as their 1-4 ATS record in the last five games (1-6 ATS in the last six against the Sens) shows. The NHL betting total has gone over in two thirds of the Penguins’ last 12 road games. The visiting team is 3-9 in the last 12 Penguins vs. Senators matchups.
Recent form: The Senators have won 80% of their last five home games and four of their last six visits to Pittsburgh, but have dropped 17 of their last 25 overall against the Pens.
News: The Sens are all but too happy to forget game 5. “The main focus wasn’t necessarily on the ice but just to come back and refresh so we don’t have to touch on Game 5 on Tuesday morning,” head coach Guy Boucher said of yesterday’s practice. Boucher confirmed that Erik Karlsson, Derick Brassard, and Cody Ceci will all be in the line-up tonight after leaving Sunday’s game early.
Trends for fans who bet on hockey: The Senators have been more proficient than the Penguins at covering; Ottawa is 6-1 against the spread in the last seven games, 11-2 ATS in the last 13 at home, and 6-2 ATS in the last seven meetings with the Pens. The Sens are 4-4 as NHL betting underdogs of +130 or more these playoffs and have won four of the last six games following a loss this postseason.