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Can Anderson Fuel Another Upset in the Finale of the Eastern Conference Final?

“Game 7” may be the most exciting phrase in sports but if the Ottawa Senators have anything to say about it, tonight’s Eastern Conference finale will not be. They’ve been most successful this postseason when playing the game at their own pace and if they let the Penguins dictate the tempo again like they did in their 7-0 Game 5 embarrassment, the Sens could be laughed out of Pittsburgh as massive underdogs.

SHARK BITES
  • The Senators are 5-4 SU on the road this postseason with a profit of $360 for $100 bettors.
  • The Penguins are 3-7 SU in 10 home Game 7s.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 8 of the Penguins' last 11 games at home.

If it weren’t for Craig Anderson, that could have happened last game. He stopped 45 Penguins' shots in Game 6 and he helped head coach Guy Boucher avoid “everything turning to darkness”. The Sens’ No. 1 netminder will likely have to be just as good this evening — with his team getting outshot by an average of 12 per game in the last three contests — if Ottawa has any hope of surviving yet another Pittsburgh onslaught.

Discipline will be the word of the night for both sides. Ottawa broke a 0-for-30 power-play failure streak in Game 6 with Bobby Ryan’s one-timer on a five-on-three in the second so the Pens will want to avoid losing a man at all costs in Game 7. The Pens’ penalty killing unit was not particularly effective until this series and giving up a goal to this Ottawa team has been a near kill shot in this best-of-seven.

As for the Sens? They’ll be in hard trap mode all night, meaning their chances could be few and far between. If they try to force the offense, instead of counterpunching when the opportunities present themselves, they’ll be overexposed to a lethal Pens attack. Ottawa will want to play this close to the vest so I wouldn’t expect a barn burner.

That being the case, I think the UNDER is a solid play. Both goalies have been excellent this series and it would be disingenuous to assume that they’d be anything other than that in the finale. It may be difficult to picture the Sens winning this but as they’ve proved time and time again this postseason – they should not be written off.

Opening Odds & Computer Pick

The Ottawa Senators were listed as 180 underdogs on the NHL hockey moneyline earlier at Bet365. The over under total was set at 5.5 before betting started earlier on Thursday at Bovada.

A 3.5-1.9 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.

Ottawa Senators vs Pittsburgh Penguins Matchup

Team Betting Records & Power Rankings

The Pittsburgh Penguins sport a record of 61-26-13 heading into this matchup, while the Ottawa Senators sit at 55-34-11 on the season. The OVER/UNDER records are 55-39-6 for the Penguins and 39-53-8 for the Senators. Stay Informed: follow us on Twitter for odds specials, betting line moves and Pittsburgh vs Ottawa injuries news.

The Pittsburgh Penguins sit at No. 5 in the current NHL power poll here at Odds Shark, while the Ottawa Senators sit at a No. 18 on the same chart.

Statistical Matchup

Offensively, the game matches up the Pittsburgh Penguins No. 1-ranked offense (3.37 goals per game) against a Ottawa Senators defense that ranks No. 12 at 2.61 goals per game allowed. The Penguins powerplay has clicked at a 23.25% rate while the Senators have a 80.53% rate on the penalty kill.

Recent Outings Betting Recap

 

Betting Trends
  • Ottawa is 7-1 ATS in its last 8 games
  • Ottawa is 6-3 ATS in its last 9 games on the road
  • Ottawa is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games on the road
  • Ottawa is 7-1 ATS in its last 8 games when playing Pittsburgh
  • Pittsburgh is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games
  • Pittsburgh is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 games at home
  • Pittsburgh is 8-3 SU in its last 11 games at home
  • The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Pittsburgh's last 11 games at home

Next Betting Matchups

Ottawa home to , Wednesday, December 31st
Pittsburgh home to , Wednesday, December 31st

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