NHL Playoff Preview: Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay, Game 4
It happened to the New York Rangers, and then it happened to the Washington Capitals. Now it looks like it might be happening to the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Pittsburgh Penguins have absorbed a loss in the series and now look like they are imposing their speed and their will on the Lightning, as they took a 2-1 series lead by winning Game 3 4-2 in Tampa Bay’s rink. Carl Hagelin and Phil Kessel each tallied a goal and an assist to pace Pittsburgh to their win. Find the latest NHL online sports betting odds here.
NHL Playoff Preview: Pittsburgh Penguins at Tampa Bay Lightning, Game 4
When: Thursday, May 19, 2016, 8:00 PM Eastern time
Where: Amalie Arena, Tampa, FL
Radio: Tampa Bay Lightning Radio Network
Live Stream: NHL-Stream.com
NHL Odds: TBA
Why should you bet on Pittsburgh?
Andrei Vasilevskiy is a talented goalie, but he is not Ben Bishop, and it’s pretty clear that the Lightning rely on Bishop in net, particularly as the second round series against the Islanders showed. A lot of the Penguins’ shots were from close in, and Vasilevskiy did stop 44 of 48 shots, but Vasilevskiy did not make the big stops, and he permitted some juicey rebounds, particularly on Hagelin’s goal. On the other end of the ice, Matt Murray is playing well — quite unlike a rookie — and he stopped 26 of 28 shots to get Pittsburgh the win. In Game 3, the Penguins made the Lightning defense look like they were standing still, so there is plenty of video for the Lightning to watch. For now, though, it looks like Pittsburgh has solved yet another team.
Why should you put your money on the Lightning?
This was only the first time the Lightning have lost back-to-back games in these playoffs. They did come out strong in the first period, logging a 12-10 advantage in shots on goal. However, they would only muster 16 more shots the rest of the way. Tampa Bay got some big chances in the first period, such as a juicy rebound that J.T. Brown was unable to hammer home, and a wrist shot by Brian Boyle that would have been more dazzling if it had been toward a corner of the goal instead of into Murray’s belly. The Lightning need to commit to speed on offense and solid defense to even this series.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
The Lightning were able to elevate their game and meet the Penguins’ challenge in Game 2, but I don’t think Tampa Bay is as good as Washington — and Washington couldn’t do it. So I’m predicting a 4-3 Penguin win.