Pittsburgh (1-2) at Ottawa (2-1)
When: Friday, May 19th 2017
Where: Canadian Tire Centre, Ottawa, Ontario
Time: 8:05 ET | TV: NBC Sports Network
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The Ottawa Senators’ offense silenced some critics by opening the flood gates on Wednesday en route to a 5-1 triumph over the Pittsburgh Penguins to go up 2-1 in their Eastern Conference finals series. Marc Methot, Derick Brassard, and Zack Smith scored in a 2:18 span midway through the first period to chase goalie Marc-Andre Fleury and take control of the best-of-seven series. Mike Hoffman opened the scoring 48 seconds in, and the Senators blew it open against the sluggish Penguins a few minutes later. Kyle Turris made it 5-0 late in the second period. Craig Anderson finished with 25 saves in holding the Penguins to just a third period goal. Ottawa’s 1-3-1 system is largely responsible for slowing down Pittsburgh’s offense, while Anderson is doing a terrific job in net. Anderson has stopped 117 of 122 shots in his last four games and is one playoff win shy of tying Patrick Lalime (21) for the most in franchise history. Captain Erik Karlsson set up his 12th goal of the playoffs on Wednesday, moving three assists shy of the franchise record for a playoff year (Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza, 2007).
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Fleury had been terrific all postseason while stepping in for an injured Matt Murray (lower body), lifting the Penguins past Columbus and Washington and stopping 56 of 58 shots versus Ottawa in the first two games before getting hammered for four goals on nine shots in the first period on Wednesday. The roles are somewhat reversed from last season when the 22-year-old Murray took over for a concussed Fleury and guided Pittsburgh to its fourth Stanley Cup title in franchise history. The question now is whether coach Mike Sullivan will put Fleury back out there or go back to Murray. As of Thursday night, he hadn’t let anyone know including his goaltenders. The trio of Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby and Phil Kessel has combined for five points (three goals, two assists) in this series for Pittsburgh, which scored an NHL-best 3.39 goals per games in the regular season before and 3.42 in the first two rounds, but haven slumped to just one goal in each game of the series.
Pittsburgh just can’t get anything going against this Ottawa defense and with Justin Schultz, Bryan Rust, and Patric Hornqvist still hurting, I don’t see this changing. Look for Ottawa to get to whichever goaltender the Penguins decide to go with.
Pick: Senators +100
- Penguins are 5-1 in their last 6 Friday games.
- Penguins are 20-7 in their last 27 games following a loss of 3 or more goals.
- Penguins are 39-14 in their last 53 after scoring 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Penguins are 38-14 in their last 52 when their opponent scores 5 goals or more in their previous game.
- Penguins are 57-24 in their last 81 games playing on 1 days rest.
- Penguins are 40-19 in their last 59 after allowing 5 goals or more in their previous game.
- Penguins are 69-33 in their last 102 vs. Eastern Conference.
- Penguins are 47-23 in their last 70 when their opponent allows 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Penguins are 1-4 in their last 5 vs. Atlantic.
- Senators are 4-0 in their last 4 home games.
- Senators are 4-1 in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
- Senators are 4-1 in their last 5 after allowing 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Senators are 4-1 in their last 5 vs. Metropolitan.
- Senators are 4-1 in their last 5 overall.
- Senators are 4-1 in their last 5 vs. Eastern Conference.
- Senators are 6-2 in their last 8 Conference Finals games.
- Senators are 8-3 in their last 11 games playing on 1 days rest.
- Senators are 8-3 in their last 11 after scoring 5 goals or more in their previous game.
- Senators are 10-4 in their last 14 vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Senators are 14-6 in their last 20 games following a win.
- Senators are 20-43 in their last 63 Friday games.
- Under is 6-2 in Penguins last 8 when their opponent allows 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Over is 6-2 in Penguins last 8 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Over is 6-2-1 in Penguins last 9 following a loss of 3 or more goals.
- Over is 8-3 in Penguins last 11 road games.
- Under is 5-2 in Penguins last 7 vs. Atlantic.
- Under is 5-2 in Penguins last 7 after scoring 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Over is 3-0-1 in Senators last 4 when their opponent allows 5 goals or more in their previous game.
- Under is 6-1 in Senators last 7 vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Under is 5-1 in Senators last 6 Conference Finals games.
- Over is 4-1-1 in Senators last 6 home games.
- Under is 19-6-1 in Senators last 26 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
- Over is 3-1-3 in Senators last 7 games playing on 1 days rest.
- Under is 3-1-1 in Senators last 5 Friday games.
- Under is 6-2-1 in Senators last 9 after scoring 5 goals or more in their previous game.
- Under is 9-4-2 in Senators last 15 games following a win.
- Under is 62-29-4 in Senators last 95 vs. Metropolitan.
- Under is 37-18-4 in Senators last 59 when their opponent scores 2 goals or less in their previous game.
HEAD TO HEAD
- Home team is 5-1 in the last 6 meetings.
- Under is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings.
- Penguins are 1-4 in the last 5 meetings in Ottawa.
- Penguins are 1-4 in the last 5 meetings.
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