NHL Playoff Preview on Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay Game 3
On Wednesday night, the NHL Eastern Conference final shifts to Florida as the Penguins head south with all things tied at 1 game apiece. The Lightning seized home advantage by taking Game 1 of the series, but then the Penguins evened things up with a dramatic 3-2 overtime win, punctuated by Sidney Crosby’s goal just 40 seconds into the extra frame. This was Crosby’s first goal in seven postseason games, as he had not tallied a goal since Game 4 of the New York series. Find the updated NHL online betting spread.
A Look at the NHL Playoff Preview on Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay Game 3
When: Monday, May 16, 2016, 8:00 PM Eastern time
Where: Amalie Arena, Tampa, FL
Radio: Lightning Radio Network
Live Stream: NHL-Stream.com
NHL Odds: TBA
Why should you bet on Pittsburgh?
The Penguins showed that they could exploit their advantage in speed against the Lightning by going up to a quick 2-0 lead in Game 2. Their defensive suffered some lapses to let the Lightning bring the game level, but while Ben Bishop is a top-tier netminder, he is on the bench with a knee injury, and Andrei Vasilevskiy is in net. Vasilevskiy also played a terrific game, stopping 38 of 41 Penguin shots, but he was not able to get the stop on Crosby in overtime. If Vasilevskiy has to play Game 3 in Tampa, that goal will remain in his mind.
Why should you put your money on the Lightning?
The Lightning found plenty of room to score against Matt Murray, as the Pittsburgh goalie let in a couple of arguably soft goals to let the Lightning come back and tie. The fact that the Lightning are doing so well with a backup goalie speaks volumes to his play as well as to the fact that the Lightning blueliners are forcing a lot of the Pittsburgh shots to come from the sides and angles. Anton Stralman (leg) is finally back in the lineup, and as he gets back into playing shape the defense will just get stronger.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
I like the Penguins to keep applying pressure in Tampa Bay, and the memory of that goal will weigh more heavily on Vasilevskiy’s mind. If Bishop is still on the bench, I’m predicting a 4-2 Pittsburgh win. If Bishop starts in goal, though, I’m predicting a 2-1 Lightning win.