NHL Pick: Penguins Play the Favorite’s Role in Game 1 Against Bruin
- Updated: June 1, 2013
The Boston Bruins, who are one year removed from a Stanley Cup championship, survived a close call against the Toronto Maple Leafs, then glided past the New York Rangers. Now, as BetAnySports customers know, they have to get by the Pittsburgh Penguins if they want a chance to compete for their second title in three seasons.
The first game of the Eastern Conference championship series will get underway at 8:05 PM ET at the Consol Energy Center in the Steel City. It can be seen on NBC.
The Penguins are coming off a series win in five games over the Ottawa Senators, and like Boston, they are pretty fresh coming into this one because both teams had to wait until the conclusion of the Western Conference semi-finals to even get a schedule.
For Game 1, the Pens are the money line favorites in the Stanley Cup playoff odds at BetAnySports:
Pittsburgh Penguins -175
Boston Bruins +155
Split Line Odds
Pittsburgh Penguins -1.5 goals (+175)
Boston Bruins +1.5 goals (-210)
Under 5.5 goals -125
Over 5.5 goals +105
Torey Krug is the guy who’s got everybody going wild in Boston. The defenseman, who played his college hockey at Michigan State, did not even play a game in the NHL this season prior to the series against the Rangers, but he got pressed into service when Boston suffered a number of injuries on the back line. All Krug did was score four goals, three of them in power play situations. His one-timer is something the Penguins have to be well aware of.
Of course, Krug is not experienced, so there is the possibility that he is going to be a but vulnerable on the stop end. So if the Bruins (a +155 money line underdog in the Stanley Cup playoff odds at BetAnySports in Game 1) take advantage of Krug’s offensive abilities, assuming they are going to show themselves again in this series, they are quite possibly going to have to accept the fact that they may give up something on the defensive end,. and that could turn out to be too much of a compromise with Pittsburgh’s acknowledged offensive prowess. Let’s face it; the Penguins are very deep and very explosive. They come at teams in waves, and now, with Sidney Crosby (he of the fractured jaw) having some extra time to rest himself, perhaps they get even more dangerous.
Then add in the fact that coach Dan Bylsma thinks he may have some stability at the goaltender spot with the hot hand of Tomas Vokoun,, and that adds up to a rough combination to deal with. Vokoun stepped in for Marc-Andre Fleury for Game 5 against the Rangers and has been more than solid. In fact, his .941 save percentage has been better than Boston’s Tuukka Rask (.928) in the playoffs.
Here are the Stanley Cup odds on winning the series as they are posted at BetAnySports. As you can see, the Penguins, with the home ice advantage on four games of this best-of-seven, are the solid favorites:
Pittsburgh Penguins -200
Boston Bruins +170
The good news for the Bruins is that one of their veterans who had been injured – Dennis Seidenberg – is back in the lineup, and he will make life a little more troublesome for the Penguins as plays alongside Zdeno Chara.
The bad news is that it is not unusual for the Penguins to win games at the TD Bank Forum. In fact, they have won on their last six trips there, so the Bruins, who dropped all three meetings this season by a single goal, would be well-advised to try and gain at least a split in Pittsburgh.
Your hot spot off the ice for the Stanley Cup playoffs is BetAnySports!