The Pittsburgh Penguins took full advantage of home ice, securing a 2-0 lead over the Nashville Predators. We have a Stanley Cup prediction for Game 3 from Smashville!
Pittsburgh is 10-2 in its last 12 against NSH including a current streak of three-straight wins, all at home. Pittsburgh won those games 4-2, 5-3 and 4-1. Their PP was only 2 for 16 but in Wednesday’s win, they chased Pekka Rinne early in the third after scoring four goals against him on 25 shots.
The most recent meeting in Tennessee, Nashville won 5-1 (Oct, 2016) and Juuse Saros was in net for the Preds. Saros came on in relief of Rinne the other night and I suppose there is some chance he could play in Nashville but the way Rinne played the rest of these playoffs, it would be hard for HC Laviolette to sit him down.
Saros was a top prospect from the Finnish Elite League, winning the ROY award in 2013-14 at the age of 19. He had a 1.76 GAA and .928 SP that season and has filled in well for Rinne with limited action in the pros. If Rinne starts, perhaps he’ll have a short leash Saturday and then depending on results, Saros could get a start in Game 4 but we are predicting the Preds to bounce back.
NHL PLAYOFF SYSTEM: DOWN 2-0
The Predators are “live” tonight in a system that I discovered in Round 2 between the Preds and Blues. It won that night and also hit the next day between the Pens and Caps. Tomorrow night, Game 3 between the Pens and Preds, we’ll get a chance to test this angle again.
Beyond the first round, home teams that are trailing by two-plus games in a series are 38-19 SU (.667) with just one losing season since 2006. This angle is 4-0 in the 2017 playoffs and the current streak dating back to May of 2015 is eight-straight wins.
The Pens led 2-0 in each of their series’ against Columbus and Washington this playoffs. In Round 3 against Ottawa, Pittsburgh lost Game 1 in OT but bounced back to win the second game. After a pair of wins against the Preds (5-3 and 4-1), the Pens’ record in the first two games for this year’s playoffs sits at 7-1.
Game 3’s, they beat CBJ 5-4 in OT, lost 3-2 in OT vs. Washington and then got spanked 5-1 vs. the Sens as the series shifted to Ottawa. Considering that five of seven games in that series were decided by one goal, the 5-1 blowout that Ottawa led 4-0 through the first, was a surprise. It goes to show what a change in scenery can do for a club and then when you throw in the ‘must win’ element, it’s fair to expect big things from a talented club such as Nashville.
Nashville opened at -135 in this game and Pinnacle is currently offering -129 while public books like Sports Interaction have jumped to -145. There is a chance some late steam on the Pens could produce a better line for Nashville so keep your eyes open and book the home side to claw back into this series.
Pick: Take the Predators to win Game 3 on the moneyline