Devils vs. Penguins Odds
Pittsburgh, PA (AP) - The Pittsburgh Penguins are still alive in the races for the Atlantic Division title and home-ice advantage throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs, but they'll need help to win either one.
Opening the playoffs at home, though, remains a very realistic possibility - and is a fate they can determine for themselves.
With a one-point lead for the East's No. 4 seed, Pittsburgh looks to get a step closer to hosting a postseason Game 1 when they face the visiting New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night.
According to NHL odds and oddsmakers from online sports book SBGGLOBAL.com have made the Penguins –145 money line favorites for Tuesday's game against the Devils. Current NHL Public Betting Information shows that 87% of more than 60 bets for this game have been placed on the Penguins -140.
The Penguins (46-25-8) squandered a chance to pull even with division-leading Philadelphia by losing 5-2 to the Flyers last Tuesday, but at that point held a five-point lead over Tampa Bay for the fourth seed.
The Lightning inched closer by beating Pittsburgh 2-1 on Thursday, and while the Penguins bounced back with a 4-2 victory Saturday at Florida, Tampa Bay won twice over the weekend to pull within one point with three games to play.
Since Pittsburgh would likely need to win out and have the Flyers lose twice in regulation to overtake them, the focus - at least for now - is on holding off the Lightning.
"You just kind of control what you can control," defenseman Brooks Orpik told the Penguins' official website. "With the situation we're in with Tampa, we can control that destiny. Against Philly, we need help. That one, I don't think you put as much focus into. If you win your games and Philly happens to lose, then that's great, but it's out of our control."
Saturday's win was the first time in six games Pittsburgh scored more than twice, but it can likely count on another low-scoring contest Tuesday. The Penguins and Devils (36-37-5) have played six games, with each totaling six goals.
There were none for 65 minutes when they met at the Consol Energy Center on March 25, as Martin Brodeur stopped 26 shots and Marc Andre-Fleury 21. James Neal's shootout goal eventually gave the Penguins a 1-0 victory and a 3-1-1 edge in the season series.
That game marked Brodeur's latest outstanding effort against the Penguins. Brodeur, expected to start Tuesday, has gone 8-1-1 with a 0.79 goals-against average and four shutouts in his last 10 games versus Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh's postseason prospects certainly depend largely on whether Sidney Crosby comes back, but figuring out a way to score on the power play could give it a chance even without the superstar center.
That's something the Penguins have rarely done. Pittsburgh has converted 17.3 percent of the time with the man advantage - 17th in the league - with Crosby on the ice, but it's at an NHL-worst 12.9 percent since losing the captain.
The Penguins have gone 2 for their last 51 on the power play and haven't scored in 14 straight opportunities against the Devils.
A power-play tally 29 seconds into the third period was enough to sink New Jersey on Saturday against Montreal. P.K. Subban's goal lifted the visiting Canadiens to a 2-0 lead, and they went on to a 3-1 victory.
That ended New Jersey's chances of making a 14th straight trip to the playoffs, even though the team went 23-3-2 from Jan. 9-March 15."Right there it's a failure because you've got to go for that chance to compete for the Stanley Cup and the first step is the playoffs and we didn't make it, so it's a failure of a season," Brodeur said.
Twitter and Facebook or Subscribe to Our News Feeds!