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History on Pens’ Side After Game 1 Win

Pittsburgh Penguins hockey NHL Stanley Cup

The Pittsburgh Penguins jumped out to a 1-0 series lead over the San Jose Sharks after a 3-2 win in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. If history is any indication, and it often is, then the odds of a Stanley Cup parade in the Steel City look great after the Game 1 win.

Looking at a few different sample sizes, it’s all good news for the Penguins and their backers. Over the last 20 years, only five teams who lost Game 1 came back to win the Stanley Cup.

Looking at more recent results, it’s only happened twice over the last 10 years that a team lost Game 1 and came back to win the Cup. A Game 1 loss has been the kiss of death over the last four years, as the last four Cup winners all took Game 1.

If you liked what you saw from the Pens in Game 1 and are banking on a sweep, you might want to reconsider. It’s been almost two decades since a sweep occurred in the Final, when the Steve Yzerman-led Red Wings defeated the Capitals in 1998.

One trend to consider if you’re not ready to give up on the Sharks is that the last three times a team lost Game 1 and came back to win the series, it took seven games to do so each time. San Jose to win in seven games can currently be had at +550, but if you want to play it safe, you can take Pittsburgh to win at any time for -235.