Penguins Crushing Caps as Favorites

Penguins vs Capitals

After the Penguins and Capitals split the first two games of their second round series in D.C., the series will shift to the Steel City as Pittsburgh will look to build on a home ice advantage trend that’s seen them win five of their last six and 15 of their last 20.

The Penguins opened as -139 favorites for the game, and they’ve been dominating the Caps in this spot. As faves against Washington, they’ve gone 9-2 in their last 11. As underdogs, it’s been an overall struggle for the Caps as they’ve gone just 4-9 in their last 13 games as dogs.

Washington has shown a consistent ability to bounce back this season, posting a 23-6 record in games after a loss. They did, however, lose two straight games in their first round series against the Flyers. Looking at the past seven weeks, the Penguins have lost two games in a three game span just once.

Caps goalie Braden Holtby has been kept busy by a Penguins offense that’s put 80 shots on net in the first two games of the series. The Pens have been unable to convert on any of those attempts while on the man advantage though, as they’ve gone 0 for 7 on the power play so far.

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UNDER Hot Between Sharks-Predators

It was quite clear who had tired legs and who didn’t in the first game of San Jose’s second-round series with Nashville, but the Preds have an opportunity to knot the series at one game apiece with a win in the Golden State on Sunday.

Shark Bites
  • The Sharks are 6-1 in their last 7 overall.
  • The UNDER is 5-2-3 in the Predators last 10 overall.
  • The UNDER is 7-1 in the last 8 meetings in San Jose.

San Jose erupted for five goals in the last 20 minutes of play for a 5-2 victory in that game. Nashville’s lack of success continues to be an issue for the club, as the Preds went 1-of-26 in the first-round against Anaheim.

Sharks forward Joel Ward has a history of coming up big in the clutch, and he collected an assist on the go-ahead goal on Friday. Ward scored seven goals in 12 playoff games for the Predators in 2010-11.

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Can the Penguins Slow Down the Capitals?

The Washington Capitals have been labeled as playoff chokers for quite some time, but they’re looking like the real deal this time around. Thanks to a hat trick by T.J. OSHA, the Capitals took Game 1 of the second-round series in overtime by a score of 4-3.

Shark Bites
  • The OVER is 3-0-2 in the last 5 meetings.
  • The Penguins are 0-4 in their last 4 Conference Semifinals games.
  • The Penguins are 10-4 in their last 14 Saturday games.

Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Matt Murray, who turned aside 89 shots in three contests to eliminate the New York Rangers in the opening round, looked very beatable in the setback. Murray’s four goals surrendered were the same amount he let in against the Rangers.

Lack of success on the power play was a big story for Washington. The Capitals scored eight times with the man advantage in their first round series, but went 0 for 4 in Game 1. Capitals netminder Braden Holtby’s workload received a major uptick, as the Vezina Trophy finalist saw 45 shots come his way on Thursday after facing just 36 in the final two matchups with the Flyers.

Stringing together wins has not been an easy task for Washington lately. The Caps are 1-6 SU in their last seven after collecting consecutive victories.

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Dallas Continuing to Cash at Home

The Dallas Stars squeezed out a 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues in Game 1 of their second-round playoff series and will be looking to take a 2-0 stranglehold with a win Sunday at American Airlines Center. Dallas is 8-0-1 in their last nine home games.

Shark Bites
  • The Blues are 0-7 in their last 7 Conference Semifinals games.
  • The UNDER is 4-1 in the Stars last 5 home games.
  • The Blues are 6-2 in the last 8 meetings.

The Blues, however, have won four of the last five meetings with Dallas in the regular season, with three of those games going to overtime. St. Louis finished two points behind Dalls for the best record in the Western Conference.

St. Louis struggled to match the speed of Dallas in the series opener. These teams clearly do not like each other, as Stars captain Jamie Benn said “They hate us, and we hate them” prior to Game 1.

Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen has stopped 31-of-32 shots to improve to 7-1-0 in his last eight stars.

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Tampa is Great at Bouncing Back

The New York Islanders grabbed a 1-0 lead in their Eastern Conference second-round series with the Tampa Bay Lightning, but the Bolts have been in this spot before. Tampa proved they could come back after losing the first contest of a series twice during last season’s playoffs and will have to do it again in 2016.

Shark Bites
  • The Lightning are 0-4 in their last 4 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
  • The OVER is 5-2-1 in Islanders last 8 road games.
  • The OVER is 5-2-3 in the Lightning's last 10 overall.

Extra rest has been kind to Tampa Bay as of late. When playing on two days rest, the Lightning are 8-3 SU. Their struggles with the Isles date back much further, however, as they’ve dropped five of their last six against New York.

Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss has been an absolute wall in the postseason, and he could be the biggest key to New York’s success. Greiss stopped 121 of 126 shots he faced —30 of 36 on Wednesday - in the last three games.

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Sharks Haven't Been Profitable at Home

sharks predators

There’s nothing like springtime hockey in California when Nashville’s in town. Well, maybe that’s not totally accurate, but if the history of Sharks vs Predators hockey is any indication we could be in for a long, grueling series. The teams have split their last 30 games against each other, and 21 of those 30 games were decided by one goal.

The Sharks open as a healthy -162 favorite and they haven’t been paying off in this situation. They’ve gone just 3-6 in their last nine games as home favorites, but the Predators are much better as road dogs, posting a 3-5 record in their last eight games in that spot.

The total for the game is set a five goals, which is a mark the teams have topped just twice in their last 10 contest. They’ve now gone UNDER in five straight games when they play in San Jose.

Nashville won two of three games vs San Jose this season, however, San Jose won the series both times they met in the playoffs in 2006 and 2007.

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Stars Have Been Singing the Blues vs STL

stars blues nhl

The American Airlines Center in Dallas will play host to the opening game of the second round matchup between the Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues, and unfortunately for the home team, the Blues have been on a roll in Dallas. The Blues have won four of their last five in Dallas and six of seven overall.

Despite the recent one-sided nature of the matchup, the Stars enter the game as -113 favorites. A recent run on their home ice has seen them go 8-1 over their last nine games, but the Blues are no slouch on the road with seven wins in their last eight games outside of St. Louis. The Blues are also clicking as underdogs lately, going 7-1 in that spot.

It seems like the trends are working against Dallas, but they’ve shown tremendous resilience when losing the previous game in a matchup. They lost 5-4 the last time these teams met on March 12, but it’s rare for a team to beat them twice in a row, as they’re 9-1 after losing the previous game in a matchup.

Stars fans hoping for the added boost of getting Tyler Seguin back in the lineup will have to wait, as the center is expected to miss the first two games of the series.

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Pens are an Absolute Boss on the Road

Crosby Ovechkin

The highly anticipated Round 2 series between the Capitals and Penguins gets underway tonight at the Verizon Center in D.C. The Penguins will look to continue a trend that’s seen them absolutely dominate on the road, as they’re now 10-1 in their last 11 road games, which includes two wins in New York in their first round series against the Rangers.

This matchup has seen the favored team go 14-6 over the past 20 games. As -134 favorites tonight, the Capitals have put together a 22-8 record in their last 30 games as home favorites, but a smaller sample size has seen them go just 5-5 in that spot over their last 10 games, which included a 4-3 loss to the Penguins on April 7.

The Pens came out on top in the five games the teams played against each other during the regular season, winning three games. The last eight times the teams have met in Washington has seen Pittsburgh win six times.

The spotlight in this series will shine brightly on superstars Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin. In five games against the Pens this season, Ovechkin was held off the scoresheet while Crosby registered four points. For more on the two team captains, check out our head-to-head history of Crosby vs Ovechkin.

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Crosby vs Ovechkin Most Points Prop

Ovechkin Crosby

The NHL’s two premier players will faceoff when Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals hit the ice against Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins in round two of the NHL playoffs. Washington vs Pittsburgh has been a primetime matchup ever since Crosby and Ovechkin entered the league, and the matchup will be magnified more than ever with a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals on the line.


Ducks Have Lost Last 3 Home Game 7’s

Ducks vs predators

The first round series between the Ducks and Predators shifts back to California tonight for Game 7. While the Predators franchise has never played in a Game 7 in their team’s history, the Ducks will look to end a trend that’s seen them eliminated from their last three playoffs in Game 7’s at home.

Working in the Ducks’ favor is a 13-5 record in their last 18 games when coming off a loss. As -170 favorites heading into the game, they haven’t exactly lit the world on fire as home favorites, going just 4-4 in their last eight games in the spot.

As road underdogs, the Predators record has been anything but impressive this season, as they’ve gone just 6-15 on the season. They do, of course, already have two wins in Anaheim during the series, but they lost three regular season games at the Honda Center this season.

The total for tonight’s game is set at 5 goals, which is a mark the teams have topped just four times in their last 10 games against each other.

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