Pittsburgh cruised towards an easy victory in the opening game of their series against Ottawa and look forward to extend the lead after the second game in Steel City. The Senators failed to capitalize on their excellent power-play killing and saw their goalkeeper struggling for the first time this postseason.
Odds: William Hill 1.73
With Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin on the ice, the Penguins made short work of Ottawa’s defenses and scored in each period. What was more impressive is the fact that the hosts capitalized on two of the three power-play situations, and won by three goals despite being outshot. This is the first time the Senators threw more pucks at the opponents net, but this didn’t help them one bit with their backline struggling to contain Crosby and Malkin.
The two former MVPs are back in form and with their captain fit to play 60 min. if necessary, the Penguins are confirming their status of favorites to win the Stanley Cup. Craig Anderson deflected 88% of those shots sent towards his net but without proper support from his defensive teammates, he was eventually overwhelmed by the hosts. Pittsburgh brilliantly combines speed, grit and skill to overpower its opponents when having an extra skater on the ice and this will be the key to their victory in game two.
The Penguins will be looking forward to build a 2-0 lead after being tied by the New York Islanders in the opening series. They eventually came out with the win but if they are to make a successful run at the Stanley Cup, the players need to spend as little time on the ice as possible. William Hill offers the best odds for a home victory, with 1.73 being just enough value to warrant a wager on the hosts.