Home ice has been the most important thing to have thus far in the Stanley Cup Finals. The Pittsburgh Penguins won the first two games of the finals on home ice and the Nashville Predators just followed suit when it was their turn. The series has now turned into a best of three, but the Penguins still have the upper hand. If the Predators are going to end the season as champions they will need to find a way to win on the road.
Don’t miss the action on the ice from PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday, June 8, 2017. Catch every moment of the game live on NBC. We will have NHL playoff hockey odds at BookMaker.eu for every Stanley Cup Finals game.
NHL Playoff Odds at BookMaker.eu
The home team has not only won every game, but covered the 1.5 goal line too. That has been a valuable angle to look at considering how short the moneyline spreads have been.
Over has been a good bet too. Although just two of the four games have gone over the total in this series, this series has been lined at 5.5 instead of 5. The over was +125 in both games in which it cashed, giving bettors a nice chunk of change.
Player to Watch
There’s no denying the effect that P.K. Subban has had since joining the Predators. Subban has fit in nicely with a team that prides itself on playing great defense and has contributed on the offensive end as well. Subban has tallied 12 points so far this postseason and although he has only scored just two points against the Penguins, he has had a huge impact.
That makes the status of Subban coming into a pivotal Game 5 all the more important. He went down to block a shot late in the third period in Game 4 and ended up limping off the ice. Although he returned later in the game he looked to be grimacing. Those types of injuries are always prone to swelling up and he may be limited here.
Pittsburgh’s offense had its worst performance of the series in Game 4. The Penguins were unable to put much consistent pressure on Pekka Rinne. Pittsburgh ended up with just 23 shots on net and was unable to have sustained possessions deep in Nashville’s zone.
Sure the Penguins had a few breakaway chances, but Rinne was able to stand tall in net and turn away all but one. The key to beating Rinne all series has been to put pucks on net and continually harass him, but Pittsburgh couldn’t do that.
Free NHL Playoff ATS Picks
Nashville’s defenders have completely outclassed Pittsburgh’s in this series. The Predators have done a good job of limiting the Penguins offense with Game 2 being the lone exception. Game 1 was fluky with Pittsburgh scoring five goals on just 12 shots and limiting the Penguins to a goal in each of the last two games is an accomplishment.
These defensemen are helping to lead the charge when the puck is at the other end of the ice as well. The Predators are just the third team in NHL history with four defensemen that have at least 10 points in the postseason. Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis, Subban, and Mattias Ekholm all have tallied double digit points and are logging big minutes in this series.
Conversely, Pittsburgh’s defense has had some major problems. Justin Schultz and Trevor Daley may be banged up, but they haven’t been playing well. Olli Maatta has been a mess the last two series too. Brian Dumoulin and Ron Hainsey are getting the most action but even they have had some real problems.
That means Murray is going to have to come up huge in Game 5. He has not been the type to shy away from big moments during his short career and will carry the day for Pittsburgh in Game 5.
NHL Playoff Odds: Penguins 3, Predators 0
BookMaker.eu offers play-by-play betting odds for live sporting events every day! The user-friendly wagering interface on your smartphone provides an easy way to place bets on the go. Mobile betting lines are updated by the minute, so click here to start gambling on thrilling live action at BookMaker.eu!