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Senators vs Penguins Picks – Pens Will End Sens Uneven Season

Posted by Don Melrose on 4/12/2010 2:50:22 PM
NHL Odds: Penguins in Six

Welcome to another episode of “The Senators Meet The Penguins In The First Round Of The Playoffs”, which is a show that we’ll be seeing for the third time in four years. The two teams split the season series 2-2 but the playoffs will be a different story. The Senators are in tough to win this series.

Senators vs Penguins Odds: Penguins in Six

The Story

The Penguins are the reigning Stanley Cup Champions and they begin their quest to defend it as they face the Senators in round one. The Senators are in a bit of a tough spot as they have had trouble scoring goals all year long and now will be forced to live without Alex Kovalev for this series as he is out for the season.

Meanwhile, the Penguins – and online betting cappers – are a little disappointed that they only have the No. 4 seed in the East, but the good news is they had the No. 4 seed last year too. The Penguins finished with 101 points, which is the fifth-best in franchise history.

Who Has The Edge On Offense: Senators Or Penguins?

From the blue line to the forwards, the Penguins clearly have better playmakers and more scoring depth.

While the loss of Kovalev is big as is, the truth is it hurts the Senators depth more than it does their second line. Their $5 million man had just one goal and one assist in his last 17 games, which is peanuts. But bumping Matt Cullen up to line two means line three is weaker, and that is inherently the problem.

NHL betting cappers know that the Sens already can’t match pound-for-pound with the Penguins, but now they’ll even be weaker as their second and third lines match up.

The Pens also get some pop from their blue line with Sergei Gonchar, who had 50 points. The Sens don’t really have anyone like that.

Edge: Pittsburgh

Who Has The Edge On Defense/Goaltending: Senators Or Penguins?

Neither team is lights out defensively, but the edge in net has to go to the Penguins. Sports betting cappers will be watching Sens rookie goalie Brian Elliott closely as he will get his first real taste of prime time playoff action.

The Senators are one of the few playoff teams that have a negative ratio of goals scored versus goals allowed, which is not a great sign.

Special teams are about equal on both sides but the defensive edge has to go to Pittsburgh because Marc-Andre Fleury is a Stanley Cup champ while Elliott is untested.

Edge: Penguins

Who Has The Edge In Experience?

The Penguins have the experience and one of the reasons they are favored in the sportsbook is they have that playoff switch. The idea of facing Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal in a playoff series isn’t enticing, especially when the Senators already have a suspect blue line.

The defending champs have been here before and have been deep in the playoffs a number of times. That experience will propel them again.

Edge: Penguins

Who Will Win The Senators vs Penguins Series?

The bottom line is the Sens are banged up. Kovalev is out and so is top defenseman Filip Kuba. Also, Milan Michalek is not at 100%, which is hampering the second unit.

On top of that, the Penguins have the special one in Sid The Kid. It won’t be a pretty series but the Penguins will manage to advance.

Pick: Penguins in Six

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