Fri 13/05/2016 - 10:54 EDT

Penguins Vs Lightning Game 1 Betting Lines

Penguins Vs Lightning Game 1 Betting Lines

The Tampa Bay Lightning went 3-0 against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the regular season but this is a different Pittsburgh club and the Lightning are without leading goal scorer and captain Steven Stamkos, out with a blood clot.

NHL Playoff Game 1 Prediction & Matchup 

By Bob Duff

Tampa Bay Lightning (+160) at Pittsburgh Penguins (-169)

sid

Could there actually be a goaltending controversy in Pittsburgh? Penguins coach Mike Sullivan wouldn't name his starting goalie for the opener of the Eastern Conference final against the Lightning, even though rookie Matt Murray, 21, has been sensational through two rounds. Regular netminder Marc-Andre Fleury, a Stanley Cup winner in 2008-09, missed the start of the playoffs with a concussion, is now healthy and backed up Murray during the second round against the Washington Capitals, but does it really make sense to make a change and fix what isn't broke? Fleury hasn't played since March 31.

This series figures to be a bit of a track meet. Both teams run deep in quick, skilled forwards and each has defensemen capable of joining the rush. Lightning rearguard Victor Hedman produced 4-4-8 numbers in their second round win over the New York Islanders. Kris Letang (1-7-8) and Trevor Daley (1-5-6) can both push the pace for the Penguins.

The Lightning won all three regular-season meetings and scored at least four goals in each game, but the Penguins have won 21 of their last 26 on home ice at the Consol Energy Center. Tampa Bay will still be without 36-goal scorer Steven Stamkos (blood clot) but defenseman Anton Stralman, out since March 25 with a fractured fibula, is close to being ready. Fourth-line forward J.T. Brown (upper body injury), sidelined since Game 2 of the opening round against the Detroit Red Wings, is expected to play in Game 1 of this set.

Other than the question mark in goal, the Penguins anticipate no lineup changes from their Game 6 win over the Capitals. Pittsburgh is getting more balanced scoring than the Lightning during the playofs. Eleven Penguins have scored at least two goals and five Pens have netted at least three goals. By contrast, just six Lightning have two goals to their credit and the forward line of Tyler Johnson (four), Alex Killorn (three) and Nikita Kucherov (nine) have accounted for 16 of Tampa Bay's 30 goals.

The Penguins are third in the NHL on the power play (27.5 per cent), while the Lightning are ninth (16.3 per cent). Tampa Bay rates third on the penalty kill (88.4 per cent); Pittsburgh is fifth (83.3 per cent). The Lightning are seeking to be the first Eastern Conference team to advance to consecutive Stanley Cup finals since the Penguins did it in 2007-08 and 2008-09.

Pick: The Penguins (-169)

Category : News

More articles...
News - 20/06/24
Tennessee is Favored to Win the 2024 College Baseball World Series 

What: 2024 College Baseball World Series Who: Tennessee vs. Texas A&M When: Game 1 on Saturday, June 22 Where: Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska How to Watch: ESPN and WatchESPN The 2024 NCAA baseball postseason has been electric thus far and this weekend, we'll find out who ends up winning the title. The two […]

News - 19/06/24
Macklin Celebrini is the Favorite to Go No. 1 to San Jose in the NHL Draft 

What: 2024 NHL Draft When: June 28-29 Where: The Las Vegas Sphere in Las Vegas, Nevada How to Watch: ESPN and WatchESPN The 2024 Stanley Cup Finals just wrapped up and people are still talking about the Florida Panthers winning the title this year. Everyone in South Florida is going to be celebrating this for […]

News - 18/06/24
Las Vegas Aces Are the Favorites to win the 2024 WNBA Finals 

It's hard to believe that we're this far into the WNBA season, but we have seen some incredible play thus far. Entering the new campaign, a lot of the focus has gone to Caitlyn Clark and Angel Reese, two rookies who are coming off brilliant careers in the college game. They're still making a ton […]

News - 18/06/24
Best UFC 303 Bets: Conor McGregor vs Michael Chandler Picks 

What: UFC 303 Who: Michael Chandler vs. Conor McGregor as the main event When: Saturday, June 29 at 10 p.m. ET Where: T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada The countdown is almost coming to a close. For a while now, UFC fans have been counting down the days for Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler to […]