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Penguins Take Game 1 Despite being Severely Outplayed

Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final was a weird one, to put it bluntly. Nashville scored the first goal of the contest but it was called off due to a controversial retroactive offside call and the Preds went on to concede three straight goals before the end of the first period. Limiting the Penguins to zero shots in 37 minutes, Nashville came all the way back to tie the game but a late goal by Jake Guentzel sealed the victory for the home side to give the defending champs a 1-0 lead in the series. The Preds opened Game 2 as moneyline underdogs but they’ll be fighting tooth and claw to stay above ground in this series – they should not be counted out.

SHARK BITES
  • The Predators are 4-0 SU and have conceded just 4 total goals in games after losing this postseason.
  • Since 2002, the home team is 9-1 SU in Game 2 after also winning Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 8 of the last 10 SCF Game 2’s after the home team won Game 1.

Looking like a team that’s out of gas and completely outmatched, the Penguins were outshot 21-10 during five-on-five play on Monday and if it weren’t for a few fortuitous bounces going their way, they’d be down in this best-of-seven. Nashville dominated just about every important metric in Game 1 and there’s no reason that they shouldn’t do the same tonight.

Peter Laviolette and the Preds have shown their resiliency all through the playoffs and they’ve yet to lose consecutive games. Much of the credit for that goes to goalie Pekka Rinne as he has a .960 save percentage in games this postseason after his team drew the short straw. The Finn is a top Conn Smythe candidate for a reason and the Preds’ success in Game 2 hinges on how he performs.

Yet again failing to score in a Stanley Cup final game, Sidney Crosby was close to being a non-factor Monday with P.K. Subban and Mattias Ekholm keeping him at bay all night. That pair of blue-liners has been the best in the NHL since the regular season expired and if they continue to shut down Sid the Kid, the Preds are in a good spot.

Opening Odds & Computer Pick

The visiting Nashville Predators opened as 130 moneyline underdogs in this one at most online sportsbooks tracked at Odds Shark, including BetOnline. The total opened at 5.5 for those preferring over under betting, watch for the line updates during the day at Bovada.

A 3-2.3 result in favor of the Penguins is the prediction by the Odds Shark handicapping pick engine. View the computer score prediction and who will win the pick on the moneyline for all upcoming NHL matchups here.

Nashville Predators vs Pittsburgh Penguins Matchup

Team Betting Records & Power Rankings

Pittsburgh will face the 53-33-13 Predators. In totals betting, the Penguins are 56-39-7 in over under betting so far this season while the Nashville Predators are 45-42-12. Stay Informed: follow us on Twitter for odds specials, betting line moves and Pittsburgh vs Nashville injuries news.

The NHL Power Rankings at Odds Shark show the No. 22-rated Nashville Predators taking on the No. 5-rated Pittsburgh Penguins in this contest.

Statistical Matchup

The game also pits Pittsburgh's No. 1-ranked offense, averaging 3.38 goals per game, against a Predators defense that ranks No. 11 at 2.61 goals allowed. The Penguins power play is averaging 23.58% while the Predators defense kills off 82.11% of their penalties.

Recent Outings Betting Recap

Last time out for Nashville, they were a 5-3 loser as they battled the Penguins on the road. Moneyline bettors who got the Penguins at -160 were rewarded, while the 8 combined goals moved the game OVER for totals bettors.

Next Betting Matchups

Nashville home to Pittsburgh, Saturday, June 3rd

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