Senators vs. Penguins Game 1 Pick
According to oddsmakers at BetDSI, the Penguins are the clear favorite in Game 1, as they are getting odds of -220 to win. The Senators are listed with a money line of +180 to prevail, while the over/under total is set at 5.5 goals. These two teams met three times during the season. The home team won all three meetings and they were 2-1 with the under.
The Penguins defeated the Blue Jackets in five games to open the playoffs. They then got through a seven-game series win over Washington Capitals. That series completed on Wednesday. The Pens are now 58-24-12 overall, 35-7-5 at home and 53-36 with the over. They are averaging 3.39 goals per game while allowing 2.77. Evgeni Malkin is leading the Penguins in the postseason with five goals and 13 assists. Jake Guentzel is the leading goal-scorer with nine. Marc-Andre Fleury is stopping 92.7 percent of the shots he has faced in the postseason and his GAA is just 2.55.
The Senators opened the postseason by beating the Boston Bruins in six games. Ottawa followed that up by beating the New York Rangers in six games as well. The Senators now find themselves 52-31-11 overall, 26-19-2 on the road and 50-37 with the under. Ottawa averages just 2.55 goals per game, but also only allows 2.59. Erik Karlsson is leading the team this postseason with 13 points via two goals and 11 assists. Jean-Gabriel Pageau is the leading scorer with seven goals. Craig Anderson has a GAA of 2.49 in net for the Senators and his save percentage is .914.
The Senators aren’t putting up a lot of goals and I don’t expect that to change today in Pittsburgh. The Penguins, on the other hand, can certainly score. However, I do expect the 7-game series with the Capitals to have taken its toll on them, at least for Game 1. The Penguins had a quick turnaround to begin a new series against a fresh team. I think they will rely heavily on Fleury tonight, but he should be up for the challenge. Look for a low-scoring contest tonight in Game 1.
NHL PLAYOFFS PREDICTION: SENATORS/PENGUINS UNDER 5.5