The best teams in the Eastern conference go head to head in the final game of the series, one that only matters for the records. The Penguins have already secured the first place in the Atlantic division and their advantage is simply too wide to be overtook in the final rounds, while Montreal is almost certain to finish second.
Odds: William Hill 2.00
The hosts are once again building a winning streak, but this time there are simply too few rounds left for the Penguins to match their previous performance. Sidney Crosby is recovering after a broken jaw, and he will probably be kept off the ice given the fact that this should be mostly a victory for the fans. Pittsburgh will need its inspirational captain in the playoffs and there is no point in risking an injury against Montreal, even though the visitors are the second best team in the Eastern conference.
The Canadians have lost two games in a row and what is more worrisome is that they have conceded 12 goals against Toronto and Philadelphia. They have scored four of their own, but this performance was insufficient for Montreal to consolidate its place at the top of the Northeast division. Lacking home pitch advantage and with motivation being at relatively low levels, it comes as no surprise that the Canadians are regarded as clear underdogs in this fixture.
Pittsburgh has nothing left to prove this season, but this doesn’t mean that they will simply put their sticks down and surrender to their archrivals. William Hill offers decently high odds for a straight victory, and as long as they revolve around even values it is worth backing the Penguins at full stakes.