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Islanders On The Ropes Heading In To Game Six Versus Penguins

Posted by Don Melrose on 5/10/2013 5:56:35 PM

The New York Islanders proved the NHL sports betting world wrong by splitting the first four games of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the top-seeded Pittsburgh Penguins. Now they will have to do it again by proving their two wins weren’t just the result of the poor goaltending Pittsburgh received from Marc-Andre Fleury. Fleury was benched for game five, and his replacement Tomas Vokoun stopped all 31 shots he faced in a 4-0 shutout win. The Islanders now face a must-win situation heading home for game six, and have to concentrate on scoring one goal at a time as they try to stay alive.

Eastern Conference Quarterfinals
Pittsburgh Penguins @ New York Islanders
Saturday May 11, 2013 – 7:00 PM ET
Game 6 – Penguins lead 3-2
NHL Sportsbook Line: Pittsburgh – 150

The Penguins certainly didn’t slow down offensively in game five, breaking a scoreless hockey game wide open with three-unanswered goals in a seven-minute span of the second period. The power play added a fourth Pittsburgh goal in the third to put the exclamation mark on the win, and the Penguins will have all of the momentum as they look to finish off New York.

NHL Betting Preview: Pittsburgh Penguins

Captain Sidney Crosby was hit with another puck, but this time he was able to stay in the game and finish with a goal and an assist to pace Pittsburgh’s offense. Kris Letang added the powerplay goal in the third that gave him a multipoint night as well, but the real story was the importance of the shift in goal. Vokoun made several nice saves on his way to the first shutout of the series, stopping all 31 shots he faced to win the goaltending duel with Evgeni Nabokov. There is no doubt that Vokoun will be the Penguins’ No. 1 moving forward after proving he was the missing piece the team needed in its first two losses.

NHL Betting Preview: New York Islanders

It wasn’t as though Nabokov was awful, but Pittsburgh’s offense has a ton of firepower and he was constantly under siege. Islanders’ head coach Jack Capuano decided to pull the veteran goaltender following Pittsburgh’s fourth goal in order to prevent him from feeling any more fatigue, but he will start in game six. The Islanders matched the Penguins with 31 shots on goal, but they didn’t have as many online betting scoring opportunities and must get more traffic to the net to beat Vokoun. The fireworks that went off in the final minutes of game five will set the tone heading back to Long Island, but the Islanders will need to find a way to generate more offense to stay alive.

NHL Betting Preview: Outlook & Pick

The adjustment going from Fleury to Vokoun was the key to Pittsburgh’s win in game five, but it will be a much tougher environment on the road as the Islanders leave everything on the table in a must-win. A three-goal barrage in the second period was the difference in game five, but if New York can avoid that meltdown and generate some offense against Vokoun, they should be able to extend the series to a seventh game.

NHL Betting Pick: New York Islanders + 140



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