ad-fullscreen

Senators poised to push Penguins in low-scoring Game 7

Updated May 24, 2017 - 7:33 pm

While the NBA playoffs have been dominated by the Warriors and Cavaliers, the NHL playoffs have produced some unlikely contenders for the Stanley Cup.

The Predators were the worst wild-card team to make the postseason but arguably have been the best in the playoffs. Their postseason run includes upsetting the Blackhawks, Blues and Ducks en route to the Western Conference title.

Nashville, which opened the season at 20-1 odds to win it all, will open the franchise’s first Stanley Cup Final on Monday against the winner of Thursday’s Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals between the Penguins and Senators, who opened as 85-1 long shots to win the Cup.

“Ottawa’s probably the biggest surprise team left,” Sunset Station sports book director Chuck Esposito said. “Even though Nashville’s a wild-card team, they were still a good team with a good goalie. The way they dismantled Chicago, I thought (the Predators) could be scary. But I don’t think anybody thought Ottawa could be three periods away from hosting Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals.”

The Senators were blown out 7-0 in Pittsburgh in Game 5 before staving off elimination in Tuesday’s 2-1 win at home.

The defending champion Penguins opened as minus-200 favorites in Game 7. Ottawa is a plus-175 underdog, and the total is 5.

“It’s not going to surprise me to see this (minus-200) number creep up, because Pittsburgh’s the defending champs, they’re at home and the last time Ottawa played in Pittsburgh, the Penguins put a touchdown on the board against them,” Esposito said. “But I don’t think the Senators will make it easy. They have a legitimate shot.”

Ottawa is 0-5 in its Game 7 history, with a minus-9 goal differential, and Pittsburgh is 9-7 — but 3-7 at home. The Penguins beat the Lightning 2-1 at home in Game 7 of last season’s conference finals and blanked the Capitals 2-0 on the road earlier this postseason.

Handicapper Alex Smith (AxSmithSports.com) expects Pittsburgh to prevail, but prefers to play Ottawa on the puck line (plus-1½ goals, minus-185) and under 5 (plus-105).

“The price would suggest the underdog. I would never lay 2-to-1 on a hockey game. If I’m going to lay a price higher than 150, I’ll go with Ottawa getting 1½ goals than Pittsburgh to win straight up,” he said. “They’ve been close games, except for Game 5. This game, more than likely, is going to overtime. It’s going to be a tightly contested game.

“The under looks good. Four of the first six games went under in the series.”

Eight of the last 12 Game 7s have gone under, including the past three. Only two of the past 12 have featured more than five goals.

Home teams are 98-70 (58.3 percent) all time in Game 7s but are on a 19-25 slide.

South Point sports book director Chris Andrews, a Pittsburgh native, said the hockey betting handle has increased this postseason but still pales in comparison to the NBA.

“I don’t know if the (Vegas Golden) Knights coming here have anything to do with it, but it’s certainly been strong,” he said. “We’re very happy with the handle on the NHL.”

Smith is siding with the Predators on Monday in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, no matter who advances from the East.

“Nashville’s the best team right now,” he said. “They have a ton of energy and momentum. That city’s buzzing about hockey, and it’s giving them more life. They’ve got everything on their side. They’ve got a hot goaltender in Pekka Rinne, and all four lines are contributing offensively.”

More Betting: Follow all of our sports betting coverage online at reviewjournal.com/betting and @RJ_Sports on Twitter.

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com or 702-266-6080. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.

section-ads_high_impact_4
Golden Knights Videos
Golden Knights forward David Perron on a good forward line
Golden Knights forward talks about the ingredients for a good forward line. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Goaltender Calvin Pickard on Golden Knights' loss to Sharks
Golden Knights goaltender Calvin Pickard talks about the team's 5-2 loss to the Sharks in San Jose on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gerard Gallant on Golden Knights' first preseason loss
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant talks about the team's 5-2 loss to the Sharks in San Jose on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Forward David Perron on Golden Knights' 5-2 loss
Golden Knights forward David Perron talks about the team's 5-2 loss to the Sharks in San Jose on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant talks about Tuesday's win over Colorado
Gerard Gallant hopes his team will cut down on penalties as preseason goes along. Steve Carp/Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Oscar Lindberg is encouraged by Golden Knights' 2-0 start
Golden Knights forward Oscar Lindberg is quickly adjusting to his new teammates. Steve Carp/Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Official opening of City National Arena, practice facility for the Golden Knights
Government officials joined Golden Knights chairman and CEO Bill Foley, hockey players and fans for the official opening on Monday of the City National Arena, the team's 146,000 square-foot practice facility in Las Vegas.
Gerard Gallant happy with Golden Knights first preseason game
Coach Gerard Gallant saw lots to like in the Golden Knights' 9-4 win on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, in Vancouver. (Steve Carp/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Veteran defenseman Brad Hunt proud Golden Knights rookies in first game
Brad Hunt making his case to make the Golden Knights. The veteran defenseman was proud of the way Golden Knights rookies played in the team's first NHL preseason game on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017. (Steve Carp/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tyler Wong talks about his hat trick in Sunday's Golden Knights win
Rookie forward Tyler Wong had four points as the Golden Knights beat Vancouver 9-4 in their NHL preseason opener, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017. (Steve Carp/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
David Schoen checks in from Golden Knights training camp
Review-Journal reporter David Schoen checks in from Golden Knights training camp Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017 at City National Arena in Las Vegas. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Marc-Andre Fleury on his first day on the ice with the Golden Knights
Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury was impressed with the first day of Golden Knights training camp on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. (Steve Carp/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Paul Thompson on his strong start at Golden Knights training camp
Golden Knights forward Paul Thompson not looking too far ahead after good first day of practice with the team on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. (Steve Carp/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant on team's chemistry
Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant talks about building chemistry in training camp on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017, at City National Arena. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Goaltender Oscar Dansk on opportunity with Golden Knights
Golden Knights goaltender Oscar Dansk speaks Friday, Sept. 15, 2017, at City National Arena after the first practice of training camp. (David Schoen/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sports Betting Spotlight Videos
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 3
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart (@kellyinvegas) and Caesars Oddsmaker Alan Berg go over their picks for week three of NFL football and their best bets.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 4
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart (@kellyinvegas) and Caesars Oddsmaker Alan Berg go over their picks for week three of college football and their best bets.
TOP NEWS
ad-315×600
News Headlines
pos-2 — ads_infeed_1
post-4 — ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Events
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like