Nashville Predators (53-32-13) at Pittsburgh Penguins (62-26-13)
|Date & Time||Monday May 29, 2017, 8:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Pittsburgh Penguins -160 / Nashville Predators +140 --- Over/Under: 5.5
The Nashville Predators visit the Pittsburgh Penguins Monday for the NHL hockey opener of the Stanley Cup finals.
The Nashville Predators punched their ticket to their first ever Stanley Cup appearance with a 6-3 victory over the Anaheim Ducks in game six of the Western Conference finals to win the series 4-2. The Predators face a Pittsburgh Penguins squad that needed double overtime to knock off the Ottawa Senators 3-2 in game seven of the Eastern finals which has the Penguins in position to win back to back Stanley Cups.
The Predators feature a red hot goalie in Pekka Rinne who has been nothing short of spectacular in the postseason with a 12-4 record and 1.70 GAA. While Rinne has garnered much of the attention for the Preds success, the help he has received from Ryan Elias, Roman Josi, Mattias Ekholm and PK Subban on the blue line has made Rinne’s job easier. The Pens are anchored in goal by Matt Murray but this team is more known for their superstars such as Sydney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin who have seven goals apiece and a combined 30 assists in the playoffs while Jake Guentzel and Phil Kessel have a combined 35 points.
Nashville will definitely miss Ryan Johansen, Kevin Fiala, Mike Fischer and Craig Smith although Fisher and Smith are listed as day to day. The Penguins are hoping Patric Hornqvist returns soon while the blue line will obviously miss Kris Letang. The 2017 Stanley Cup shapes up to be the star heavy Penguins and their potent offense versus the defense and goaltending of Nashville who is the unexpected number eight seed from the Western Conference in their first ever Stanley Cup final.
The under is 4-0 in Predators last 4 vs. Eastern Conference and the over is 2-0-2 in Predators last 4 games following a win while the under is 4-0-1 in Predators last 5 after scoring 5 goals or more in their previous game. The Penguins are 5-0 in their last 5 games playing on 3 or more days rest and the under is 8-1 in Penguins last 9 Stanley Cup Finals games while the over is 7-1-1 in Penguins last 9 games playing on 3 or more days rest. The Predators are 2-8 in the last 10 meetings and the Predators are 1-4 in the last 5 meetings in Pittsburgh.
I will back the star laden Penguins in the Cup opener in what should be a tight one…