Ottawa Senators (53-31-11) at Pittsburgh Penguins (58-24-13)
|Date & Time||Monday May 15, 2017, 8:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Pittsburgh Penguins -205 / Ottawa Senators +160 --- Over/Under: 5
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The Pittsburgh Penguins look to get back in their Eastern Conference final series with the Ottawa Senators as the heavy underdogs stole game one in overtime on Saturday night.
The Senators look to sweep the first two games of this series and head back to the Canadian capital with a comfortable 2-0 series lead but they know that after losing the opener on Saturday that the Penguins will come out with a much better effort and play with a little bit of desperation in their game, especially on home ice. The Sens got past the Boston Bruins in the first round and then followed suit with a second round victory against the New York Rangers as they emerged out of the Atlantic division bracket into the final against the defending Cup champs from Pittsburgh, but very few expected the Sens to be competitive in this series, let alone have a chance to head back home with a 2-0 series lead. Craig Anderson will be out for another special effort in the Ottawa crease as he will face off against Marc-Andre Fleury as both net minders were strong in game one and they will likely dictate the outcome of most of this series as they have done through the first two rounds thus far.
The Penguins meanwhile won a pivotal game seven on the road against the Washington Capitals in the Metro division final but they spoiled a return home as a goal from Bobby Ryan in overtime gave the Sens an opening game victory in which Ottawa was the better team from start to finish. Pittsburgh will need to get their offense rolling as they were held in check by Ottawa’s stingy 1-3-1 defensive formation and great goaltending from Anderson but with the strength of Pittsburgh’s special teams being a focus they know they will have to take advantage on the man advantage if they’re going to find success in this one. Sidney Crosby and company surely have the depth in the offensive zone but it has been Ottawa who has been better in the defensive zone thanks to Erik Karlsson and the battle between these two superstars will be an exciting narrative to follow as the series unfolds.
The Sens are 5-1 in their last six Conference final games and 9-3 in their last 12 overall while the Penguins are 60-21 in their last 81 home games and 38-13 in their last 51 after scoring two or fewer in their previous outing. The Sens netted just their second road win in Pittsburgh in their last 11 tries and while they have all the value here I think the Penguins get it done and head back to Ottawa tied at a game apiece.