The NHL betting favoured Pittsburgh Penguins enter tonight’s game against the Nashville Predators with a 1-0 lead in the Stanley Cup Finals. Jake Guentzel ended an eight-game goal drought with the go-ahead goal with 3:17 left in the third period to help the Pens beat the Preds 5-3 in game 1. Guentzel leads the league with 10 goals in the playoffs and became the fifth rookie in history to reach double-figure goals in a single postseason. The Predators became the first team to keep an opponent to zero shots in a period during a Stanley Cup Final since the league began tracking shots on goal in 1957-58, as the Penguins did not have a single shot on goal in the second after scoring three in the first. Matt Murray made 23 saves while Pekka Rinne made seven.
Time: 8:00 PM
Venue: PPG Paints Arena
Sportsbook odds for fans who bet on hockey:
Predators +1½ (-240) 5½ (+125) +125
Penguins -1½ (+200) 5½ (-145) -145
Need-to-know info: The Preds are behind in a series for the first time this postseason, but they are 4-0 in games following a loss in these playoffs. Nashville hopes to take the good with the bad – such as allowing only 12 shots but conceding goals on five – for game 2. “For the most part, we did a lot of good things,” defenseman Ryan Ellis said. “If we play that way every night, we’ll hopefully like the result at the end. Each game we need to keep getting better and better.”
Trends for fans who bet on hockey: The Predators have won 12 of their last 17 games but only one third of their last six on the road and two of the last nine versus the Pens. Nashville has covered only twice in the last six games but is 9-2 against the spread in the last 11 road games. The NHL betting total has gone over in 80% of the Preds’ last five versus the Penguins.
Need-to-know info: The fact that Guentzel lead the league in playoff goals in spite of going scoreless since game 5 against the Capitals is a testament to the rookie’s scoring a prowess, as well as a reminder that he can always strike when one least expects him to. Meanwhile, Nick Bonino showed how important it is to be in the right place at the right time (or wrong, if you’re Mattias Ekholm); Bonino’s first goal ricocheted off Rinne’s stick and bounced off Ekholm’s skate. His second was an empty-netter.
Trends for fans who bet on hockey: The Pens have won four of the last five games, including the last two straight – ditto for their last five at home. Pittsburgh has covered only in one fourth of the last eight games and two of the last six at PPG Paints Arena – where they have defeated the Predators in five of their last six meetings there. The NHL betting total has gone over in five of the Pens’ last seven times hosting Nashville.