The Kings outshot the Hurricanes 39-26 but managed to only win by a goal, 3-2. It wasn’t a result we wanted it to be as we had the Kings -1.5 but there isn’t much you can do sometimes when it feels like you’re on the correct side and the bet doesn’t cash. Although, I have to admit that the only right side is the one that produces money. Let’s get on the right side tonight.
There was a time when this game would be a complete joke with the Penguins as massive favorites. They are still big favorites, and the game could be lopsided, but the Islanders have changed the culture around their team. A culture that involves a team that expects to compete and win on any given night. The Isles could have a bright future in front of them that is not that far away. Management will need to make the right moves, and I am sure that there are a number of players out there that wouldn’t mind playing alongside Tavares. At the start of the season it was looking like the future is now for the Islanders. At 12-6 they are still in control of their own destiny; however, I warned people not to get too ahead of themselves. Who knows, they may very well be a top team come seasons end. Whenever I examine this team all I can think of is the Colorado Avalanche from last season. No one thought the Avalanche were going to amount to much and that they were going to hit a wall during the regular season. They never really did, but did lose a tough 1st round series to the Minnesota Wild. I don’t see the Islanders having the same success as the Avalanche did during the regular season, but I can definitely see them losing a hard fought 1st round series. Taking down the Penguins on the road would go a long way in the public perception of the Islanders.
N.Y. Islanders @ Pittsburgh Penguins
Beating the Penguins is much easier to say than it is to do. The Pens have been in playoff form for a month now and are currently favorites to win the Stanley Cup. I don’t argue with that assumption at all, the Penguins are 13-3-1 with a 6-2 record at home. The Rangers ended an 8 game winning streak a few games ago, but the Penguins came back and started a new win streak by capturing 3 straight wins. As a result, the Pens are winners of 10 of their last 11 games. In those wins they averaged 4.2 goals. Pittsburgh is the highest scoring team in the NHL, scoring an average of 3.65 times per game. They were scoring over 4 a game before they got shutout against the Rangers, so other than that game the Penguins are averaging over 4 games per game.
Likewise, the Islanders offense has been performing at a high level as well. OVERs were automatic in Islander games earlier in the season, but their defense has improved slightly. The Isles are 4th in the NHL in scoring with 3.11 goals per game, but are 19th in goals against. The Islanders are 4-0 to the OVER in their last games. This series has favored the OVER as well with it hitting 70% of the time in their last 10 matchups. We look for that trend to continue tonight in Pittsburgh.
Pick – OVER 5.5 GOALS (-115) @ 5dimes.eu (Best Odds)