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Home Ice Is Nice For Ottawa

Posted by Don Melrose on 5/21/2013 7:19:11 PM

Pittsburgh Penguins @ Ottawa Senators – Wednesday (Pittsburgh leads 2-1)

The online sports book experts didn’t think that the Ottawa Senators had a chance in the world of winning this series against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Senators may have been able to steal one game, as the Islanders were able to win two in the opening round of the playoffs, but the whole series was out of the question. But after the way the Pittsburgh Penguins could not handle the overwhelming determination of the Senators late in game three, the idea the Ottawa could not win this series has suddenly disappeared.

The betting websites had high hopes for the Pittsburgh Penguins after the team acquired veteran goaltender Tomas Vokoun. But when Pittsburgh started the playoffs with Marc-Andre Fleury in net, the fans and betting experts started to wonder what was going on. After a few games, Fleury was gone and Vokoun came in. To this point in the playoffs, Tomas Vokoun has a 4-1 record. But it is that one loss that bothers people. The goals scored against Vokoun were definitely not his fault, but the fact that the Penguins allowed the Senators to score so late in the game and then in overtime is disturbing.

Why the Penguins Will Win

The sports betting experts figure that the Pittsburgh Penguins have one chance to get this series back and that chance is game four. This is more than just home ice at work, this is a complete shift in series momentum that the Penguins cannot allow. Pittsburgh needs to press harder on Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson and try to get more pucks past the Senators net minder. The Pens know that Tomas Vokoun will keep the Senators to two goals or less. That means that the rest is up to the Pittsburgh forwards.

Why the Senators Will Win

The thing that the Ottawa Senators did in game three that they did not do in the previous two games was hit the Penguins when the Penguins had the puck. Ottawa was spending too much time hitting the Penguins when they did not have the puck and that put the Senators in the penalty box way too often. In game three, the Senators got it right and helped to neutralize the Pittsburgh offense. The play of Craig Anderson also had a lot to do with shutting down the Penguins. If Ottawa can continue to play like this, then the team will be tough to beat.

The Bottom Line

A lot of fans and betting experts did not expect the Senators to be able to skate with the Pittsburgh Penguins. But in game three, the Senators showed that they could stay step for step with the Pens and put on pressure when needed. This will be an extremely entertaining hockey game, but the Ottawa Senators should once again be able to exploit home ice advantage and even up the series at two apiece.

Pick: Ottawa Senators

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