Ottawa Senators @ Pittsburgh Penguins

Ottawa Senators @ Pittsburgh Penguins

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8.5
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Rating: 8.5/10 (2 votes cast)

Prediction: Pens (-1) @ -118

Key Points:

  • Pens are 4-0 in last 4 meetings
  • Pens are 5-1 in last 6 meetings in Pittsburgh
  • Over is 5-2 in last 7 meetings in Pittsburgh
  • Pens won game one 4-1
Tonight the #1 seeded Pittsburgh Penguins welcome the Ottawa Senators back to Consol Energy Center for game 2 of the second round. We all know what happened in game 1, and it looked eerily similar to what happened in the first series where the Pens beat the Islanders 5-0 in game one and then went on to lose game 2 in a 4-3 embarrassment.

Let’s just say I do not think that’s going to happen again tonight. The Penguins realized that playing like they did in Game 2 really put the first series in a lot more question than necessary had they played smart hockey. It was evident in game one that Bylsma has perhaps repeatedly pounded the concept of playing smart into these players, and I think we see another example of that tonight. As these teams face off game after game, their will become tension between them, and whether or not the Pens can keep their heads will have a substantial outcome of this series.

That being said, I expect the Pens to stay in good form tonight. Nothing has changed in either lineup that I am aware of, we will still be seeing Vokoun in net as he has been an absolute beast since replacing Fleury in the middle of the first series against the Islanders. I cannot stress enough how important it is for Vokoun to stay in net right now, and the reasoning for this is that Fleury does not seem to be able to handle the high pressures associated with these playoff games. When his confidence is low, his performance follows, so as soon as a puck gets behind him he gets pissed and it all goes downhill from there. Vokoun, on the other hand, may not make the highlight reel saves that Fleury occasionally does, but he is much better at staying in position, and in the event a puck gets behind him he doesn’t lose his shit over it, and he gets back in the game and stays in the right mindset.

Pens defense has been looking better, as they seem to have learned that using the middle to break out of their zone is not the ideal method of a break-out. As long as there aren’t too many odd-man rushes tonight, I expect Vokoun to put up a similar performance to that which he did last game. I believe that the majority of handicappers will be expecting the Senators to bounce-back tonight just like the Islander did in game two, but I think the Pens have moved beyond that stage and they should be capable of keeping them at bay for at least another game at home in Pittsburgh.

Also, a lot of people think the total will go over because it “should have” gone over last game. I disagree there also. Anderson allowed a few weak goals last game, and I think his performance will improve tonight. That being said, the Pens offense is unstoppable when they play smart and with the chemistry we know them to have, so pucks WILL get beyond him, but I do not think we will see a combined total of six or more goals tonight.

Pick: Pens (-1) @ -118

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Ottawa Senators @ Pittsburgh Penguins, 8.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

1 Comment

  1. PuckIt
    May 18, 2013, 3:37 am

    Rough push, i’ll take it over a loss though. Our other plays well made up for this one!

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