NHL Playoff Preview: Tampa Bay at Pittsburgh, Game 2
On Monday night, the Pittsburgh Penguins host the Tampa Bay Lightning for Game 2 of their Eastern Conference final. The Lightning won Game 1, 3-1, despite losing starting goaltender Ben Bishop to an apparent knee injury in the first period. Andrei Vasilevskiy came on and made 25 huge saves to pace the Lightning to a win. Find the latest NBA betting lines here.
NHL Playoff Preview: Tampa Bay Lightning at Pittsburgh Penguins, Game 2
When: Monday, May 16, 2016, 8:00pm Eastern time
Where: CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh
Radio: WXDX 105.9 FM The X Pittsburgh
Live Stream: NHL-Stream.com
NHL Odds: Tampa Bay +175 / Pittsburgh -210
Why should you bet on Tampa Bay?
When you saw Bishop go down, you had to start thinking ahead to Game 2 – or to the long summer ahead, since Vasilevskiy had not won a game since February 29 against the lowly Toronto Maple Leafs. It’s true that he made a brief appearance in the Stanley Cup Final last year, making five stops after Bishop went down during a 4-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks, and he did come on to make eight stops in the Game 1 loss to New York in the semifinals, but this was his most extended postseason action in years. The Lightning were able to use their speed to frustrate the Penguins, something that the Rangers and Capitals simply did not have in their arsenals.
Why should you put your money on the Penguins?
The Penguins can do what the Lightning do in terms of transforming a game with their speed, and they do it at a faster pace than the Lightning. They have to adjust what they do given that they are now paying a speed-first team instead of a puck possession-first team. Also, they need some more big stops out of their own netminder. It looks like Matt Murray will be in net the rest of the way, feast or famine, and that Marc-Andre Fleury will not be coming back from his concussion. The Penguins hung him out to dry several times, such as when Jonathan Drouin scored on an easy 3-on-1 that exposed a number of breakdowns on the Pens’ back line. That can’t happen in Game 2.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
The Penguins are no fluke. I think they will make the adjustments and turn the speed game around to their advantage this time. It sounds like Bishop will be back on the ice (although it’s a game time decision, so check the news before you place your bet), and so I’m predicting a 3-2 Pittsburgh win.