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Penguins Look To Take Command Of Second Round Series In Game Two Friday

Posted by Carter Brown on 5/16/2013 7:34:17 PM

The Pittsburgh Penguins made a statement with a 4-1 win over the Ottawa Senators in game one of their Eastern Conference semi-final on Tuesday. Unlike in the first round, they will look to complete the home sweep before heading on the road for game three. The Penguins needed six games to eliminate the New York Islanders, but after addressing their goaltending issues they appear poised to make quick work of Ottawa. Tomas Vokoun turned away 35 of the 36 shots he faced in game one, and will start game two.

Ottawa Senators @ Pittsburgh Penguins
Friday May 17, 2013 – 7:30 PM ET
CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
NHL Sports Betting Line: Pittsburgh Penguins - 150

Even with Vokoun in goal the Senators appeared to have the edge in goaltending heading in to this series, but that has changed quickly. Craig Anderson allowed four goals on just 30 shots in game one, and needs to be better if Ottawa is going to have any chance at earning the all-important road split through two games.

NHL Betting Preview: Ottawa Senators

The online sports betting statistics seemed to be in favor of a Senators’ team that outshot Pittsburgh in game one, and had one more powerplay opportunity. However, Ottawa struggled to find ways to beat Vokoun, especially with the man-advantage where they went 0-for-5. Colin Greening has the Senators’ lone goal less than five minutes in, and they couldn’t find the back of the net the rest of the way. It didn’t take long for Ottawa to realize this isn’t the Montreal Canadiens’ team they bullied around in the opening round, and what a strange coincidence it was to see Eric Gryba leave with an upper body injury.

NHL Betting Preview: Pittsburgh Penguins

The Penguins didn’t back down one bit in terms of physicality, as guys like Brenden Morrow and Derek Engelland stepped up and helped set the tone from the outset. Pittsburgh took control with the physical play, and that opened up room for a player like Evgeni Malkin to lead the way with a multipoint night. The Penguins have the weapons up front to score in bunches but are at their best when playing a solid two-way game. That really frustrated the Senators in game one, so don’t expect game two to be any different with Vokoun once again getting the call in goal. Vokoun has been excellent since taking over, and has really addressed what was the team’s lone weakness.

NHL Betting Preview: Outlook & Pick

Vokoun is now 3-0 in these playoffs and has allowed no more than one goal on two occasions since taking over as the No. 1. Ottawa’s only edge in this series was expected to be in the goaltending department, but that certainly wasn’t the case in game one and if it happens again in game two, the Senators will be dealing with a long flight home down two games in the best-of-seven online sports betting series.

NHL Betting Pick: Pittsburgh Penguins

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