The Pittsburgh Penguins have been defying the NHL Odds all season long and will look for advance on Monday night in what has been a remarkable run. In their way is the Tampa Bay Lightning that proved that they are not going down without a fight with an 8-2 beat down of the Penguins on Saturday.
Pittsburgh Penguins (49-25-8) at Tampa Bay Lightning (46-25-11)
7:00 PM ET, Monday, April 25, 2011
St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa, Florida
Broadcast: CBC (HD), RDS (HD), ROOT (HD), SUN (HD)
Pittsburgh Leads Series 3-2
Pittsburgh: +1 ½ (-245)
Tampa Bay: -1 ½ (+205)
Moneyline: Pittsburgh +125: Tampa Bay -145
Total: 5 goals
Was it a case of one bad game or was it the NHL Odds catching up to the Pittsburgh Penguins? Nothing went right for that team in Game 5 – the offense, the special teams and the goaltending totally let them down. The Penguins need to step up their game – they have relinquished momentum with their Game 5 performance.
Surprisingly it has been the Penguins fourth line that has been the main contributor on Pittsburgh’s offense – that’s a problem. When Aaron Asham and Mike Rupp are outpacing Jordan Staal, Kris Kunitz and company, there is an issue. However, this lunch bucket team has found ways to get it done all season and is hard to count out at any point.
Marc-Andre Fleury is prone to the occasional blow up but he rarely has two bad games in a row. Fleury was pulled in Game 5 after giving up four goals on 14 shots – expect a strong bounce back in Game 6!
The Tampa Bay Lightning were looking down and out but an 8-2 pasting of Pittsburgh on Saturday has made NHL Odds believers out of more than just a few. The offense, including the previously silent Steven Stamkos has woken up and Dwayne Roloson has been terrific between the pipes. The Lightning have momentum on their side and a benefit of a hometown crowd Monday – it should be fun!
Steven Stamkos, Simone Gagne and Pavel Kubina all had two goals on Saturday – proof that Martin St. Louis isn’t the only game in town in Tampa. With some balanced scoring, a power play that scored four times on Saturday and with a certain Steven Stamkos finding his form, the Lightning will be a handful on Monday night.
Dwayne Roloson has been providing the Lightning with quality goaltending in the series so far. In the last two games, he has stopped 81 of 86 shots fired his way.
NHL Odds Outlook:
The Pittsburgh Penguins have had a short memory all season long. They have gained the ability to forget about the last game like no other team in the league this season. Fleury was brutal in Game 5 and that is not going to happen again. The biggest lunch bucket team in the NHL will find a way to get it done.
Tampa Bay is just 1-6 in their last seven games at home in the playoffs.
NHL Odds Pick: Pittsburgh Penguins +125