The Ottawa Senators and Pittsburgh Penguins get the Eastern Conference Finals started tonight at the PPG Paints Arena. Great name for an arena, and even a better team playing in it. One of those statements is sarcasm. The Oilers for a brief moment were favourites to win the Stanley Cup. I said that I wasn’t really sure why, and clearly it rings true. My odds were on the Pens to repeat, and now with the Oilers removed from the equation, I would say my prediction lined up correctly.
As far as the Senators are concerned, they flew under the radar all season long and here they are with the Stanley Cup Finals right in front of them. Sens’ goaltender, Craig Anderson, had a turbulent season. No, not on the ice, but he had some matters to deal with off the ice. His wife has been battling cancer, which resulted in Anderson spending time away from the team.
You wouldn’t know that he’s been going through something so serious, because Anderson has held up strong in net. He has been a point of motivation for the team, and a rock in net through the playoffs. Likewise, Marc-Andre Fleury, has been blooming in the spring like a flower. He is the reason the Penguins beat the Capitals in Game 7 and is a critical reason why they’ve advanced this far in the postseason. We’ll see if he holds up well in the Eastern Conference Finals. Get our free Senators vs. Penguins Game 1 pick below.
Ottawa Senators vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Game 1 Pick
The Senators pulled off what some would consider an upset by beating the Rangers in the previous round. And now they will have to pull off a bigger upset in this round against the Pens. The odds in Game 1 will tell you all you need to know. The Pens enter as heavy favourites at around -220 depending where you get your odds at. What the Sens are hoping for is that the Caps wore the Penguins down to a point where they can take advantage of them. If Fleury is playing at that level, the Senators aren’t going to move the meter much.
Fleury did, however, allow 9 goals in his previous two games before pitching a shutout. The Sens and Pens last met in March, a 2-1 win for Ottawa in a shootout. I could see Game 1 looking a lot like a feeling out process. The goal scoring will open up later in the series, but I see Anderson and Fleury playing well and doing their jobs in front of two teams who may very well play cautious hockey. Just like Game 1’s vs the Capitals and Rangers, we should see this one go UNDER the total.
PICK: UNDER 5.5 (-110)