What Teams Can Stop the Pittsburgh Penguins in the East?
The Pittsburg Penguins have continued their dominance this season as they have just about wrapped up their spot as the number one seed in the Eastern Conference. With only five games remaining they have the second most points of any NHL team this year, and are in front of the two seeded Montreal Canadians by seven points through 43 games. With how hot the Penguins have been in April, starting off the month winning five of their first seven games, they seem to be the clear favorite to reach the Stanley Cup Finals out of the East.
Despite how the season has gone so far for the Penguins, the playoffs are there for a reason, and that is because anything can happen, and no matter the odds set by sports books any team can come out victorious. A team like the Montreal Canadians, who have one of the best goalies in the game today Carey Price, are a prime example of a team that could surprise everyone and beat the Penguins to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals.
The Canadians are the current two seed in the East, and their best hope at not only advancing to the Conference Finals, which is where they would most likely meet the Penguins, but also beating the Penguins will be goaltender Price. Price, who was highly touted coming into the NHL, has proved those who sang his praises right as he has developed into the franchise goalie many expected. Not only is he one of the top goalies in the game, but Price has also proven to be one of the most durable as he is currently top ten in the league in games played for goalies this season. If sports bettors are looking for a late upset, they should look no further than the Canadians vs. Penguins, a game which could go either way, and most likely will last six or seven games.
Although currently the six seed in the East, the Ottawa Senators have one of the best, and most improved goalies Craig Anderson in the net. Anderson so far has the best GAA in the league, allowing an average of only 1.52 goals per game, well ahead of Jonathan Bernier in the second spot. Although the Penguins have two of the best scorers in the league, a few bad nights by them, or a few incredible ones by Anderson, and this possible matchup could surprisingly favor the Senators.
Although the Senators lack a go-to scorer, it is also what makes them a little more dangerous and tough to game plan against. What makes this potential matchup even more intriguing is how close the Senators have played the Penguins in their two early season matchups this year. The first meeting between the two turned into a shootout thriller that eventually saw the Penguins win 2-1, and the second was almost as close but finished in regulation with a 4-2 Penguins victory.
In order for this matchup to happen, the Senators will have to upset whoever they play in the first round, which is still unclear as they are five points behind the four seed Boston Bruins, and only four points in front of the eighth seeded New York Rangers. No matter where the Senators finish the season, they have a good chance to win their first round game, and could eventually turn a matchup with Penguins into must see action for hockey fans and sports betting gamblers.
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