NHL playoff betting notes: Penguins' Crosby to miss Game 1

Pittsburgh star Sidney Crosby will not play in the series opener against the New York Islanders Wednesday night. Here's a look at some notes to assist in your hockey handicapping.

Sid the Kid will not play in Game 1


Sidney Crosby will not suit up for the Stanley Cup favorite Pittsburgh Penguins as they get their series with the New York Islanders opened tonight, according to the CBC.

Crosby informed reporters on Wednesday morning that that doctors had said things looked OK but were not prepared to issue clearance to play.

Pittsburgh has gone 8-4 since Crosby suffered the broken jaw on March 30. The Penguins were 4-1 versus the Islanders in the regular season.

Strong Leafs' offense sputtered versus Bruins

If the Toronto Maple Leafs want to advance past the first round of the playoffs, they'll have to pick up their scoring pace against the Boston Bruins.

The Leafs had the sixth-highest goal total in the NHL this season scoring 145 goals, or 3.02 per game. Against the Bruins, however, that total dropped to just 1.75.

Boston held Toronto to just seven goals in four games. That included a 1-0 shutout in Toronto on Feb. 2., the only time the Leafs were shutout all season.

The Leafs open the series in Boston Wednesday night. They are currently listed as +161 underdogs and the total is five.

Bruins forward Jaromir Jagr and Leafs forward Tyler Bozak are both probable for Game 1. Bruins winger Nathan Horton is questionable with a hand injury.

Former Bruins star Phil Kessel to face former team

A good sub plot in the Leafs-Bruins series is, obviously, the return of Phil Kessel to Beantown.

The Bruins traded Kessel to the Leafs in September of 2009 for three draft picks.  Two of which ended up being Tyler Seguin and rookie defenseman Dougie Hamilton.

Kessel has not performed well against his former team, however.

In 22 games versus the Bruins since the trade, Kessel has managed just three goals and is a minus-22.

The Wisconsin native led the Leafs in scoring this season with 20 goals and 52 points.

Roberto Luongo to start for the Canucks

Team Radio 1040 has reported that Roberto Luongo will get the start in net for the favored Vancouver Canucks as they open their series against the San Jose Sharks.

The veteran netminder started 18 games on the season and posted a record of 9-6-3. Luongo did not play any games versus the Sharks this season.

Vancouver's other goalie, Cory Schneider, started all three games versus the Sharks and lost all three, with one coming in overtime.

The Canucks are currently -141 favorites tonight. The total is five.

Wednesday's line moves

Toronto Maples Leafs vs. Boston Bruins

Most books had this line open with the Bruins as -185 favorites. Any movement on the line has seen it move down with money being played on the Maple Leafs.

Online book 5Dimes.eu had the line open at -185 and it is now -175.

New York Islanders vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

Bet365.com lists the Penguins as favorites to win the Stanley Cup with current odds at +290. The line in this opening game certainly can reflect that popularity. Online book PinnacleSports.com had an opening line of Pittsburgh -225 on Monday and it now sits at -245

San Jose Sharks vs. Vancouver Canucks

Ladbrokes.com opened this line with Vancouver as -145 favorites. That has gone down slightly over the past two day with Vancouver
currently at -141.

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