Pittsburgh Penguins at Ottawa Senators (+105, 5)
Series tied 1-1
The Pittsburgh Penguins' high-octane offense ran roughshod through the league during the regular season, scoring an NHL-best 3.39 goals per game before marginally increasing that total over the first two rounds of the playoffs (3.42). The high-octane Pittsburgh Penguins, reduced to two tallies while splitting the first two contests of the Eastern Conference final, look to get their offense in gear Wednesday when they visit the Ottawa Senators for Game 3.
"We generated a lot of chances, and you don't let the fact that they aren't going in change the way you play," captain Sidney Crosby said on the heels of Phil Kessel scoring the lone goal in the third period of Monday's 1-0 victory in Pittsburgh. The Penguins have mustered eight tallies in their last five games after recording 35 in their initial nine of the playoffs, with Ottawa's 1-3-1 defensive alignment serving as quite an obstacle in the conference final. The Senators didn't do much at the other end of the ice - literally - as they failed to record a shot on goal for 18:53 bridging the second and third periods. "We didn't generate a lot of offense," center Tom Pyatt said Tuesday, stating the obvious. "We played a solid, intense game, kept them to the outside, but I think they spent a little too much time in their zone. Obviously we (need) a better offensive effort for Game 3."
TV: 8 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network, CBC, TVAS
LINE HISTORY: The Penguins opened as -130 road favorites for Game 3 in Ottawa and the moneyline came down slightly to -125 on Wednesday afternoon. The total hit the betting board at 5. Check out the complete line history here.
SERIES PRICE (PER SPORTS INTERACTION):
Penguins - RW P. Hornqvist (Questionable, upper body), D T. Daley (Questionable, lower body), RW B. Rust (Questionable, upper body), D J. Schultz (Questionable, upper body), D K. Letang (Out For Season, neck).
Senators - LW V. Stalberg (Questionable, lower body), D M. Borowiecki (Out Indefinitely, leg).
ABOUT THE PENGUINS (59-24-8-5, 53-38 O/U): Evgeni Malkin set up Kessel on Monday to increase his point total to an NHL-best 20 (six goals, 14 assists), joining Mario Lemieux as the only players in franchise history to reach that plateau on three occasions. Kessel's sixth tally of the playoffs followed one of his many emotional outbursts on the bench, with a particular one involving assistant coach Rick Tocchet caught on camera about Pittsburgh's need to move the puck. "It tells me he's invested - I love that about the guy," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said of Kessel's fiery nature. "Yeah, he's always like that."
ABOUT THE SENATORS (53-32-7-4, 37-52 O/U): Ottawa may receive a jolt as the series shifts to Canada's capital in the form of forward Viktor Stalberg and defenseman Mark Borowiecki, who coach Guy Boucher said "could be coming in at any moment." Stalberg has been sidelined since Game 6 of the second-round series versus the New York Rangers with an undisclosed injury while Borowiecki has been out since Game 2 of the first-round set against Boston with a lower-body ailment. Captain Erik Karlsson is playing with two hairline fractures in his foot, but the two-time Norris Trophy recipient still managed to record a team-high 26:59 of ice time in Game 2.
* Penguins are 39-13 in their last 52 after scoring 2 goals or less in their previous game.
* Senators are 4-1 in their last 5 home games.
* Under is 6-1 in Penguins last 7 when their opponent allows 2 goals or less in their previous game.
* Under is 10-1 in Senators last 11 vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
* Under is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings.
Check out a complete list of hot and cold trends, here.
COVERS CONSENSUS: 52 percent of the Covers public is siding with the road chalk Penguins on the moneyline and 51 percent are on the Over. View full consensus data here.