avatar Written by Graeme & Scott on Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

The San Jose Sharks got a big and convincing 4-0 win over the St. Louis Blues last night.

That’s going to be a demoralizing one for the Blues as the Sharks were firing on all cylinders – especially on the special teams. Blues now know that the more physical the get, the more it will cost them and they’re going to have to try and bounce back strong in Game 3.

Speaking of Game 3s we head to Tampa tonight where the Pittsburgh Penguins take on the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Over 6 games at home in the playoffs Tampa have scored 3.33 goals and conceded 1.67 which is a pretty solid ratio. On the road however the Penguins have the 2nd best defensive record in the playoffs behind Anaheim, and score a top 5 2.80 goals per game.

What may be crucial are the shots against stats, with the Penguins allowing the lowest on average per game on the road with just 25.2. A lot of that is protecting Murray – something they don’t do at home as much where shots against is 33.9.

Graeme: Against the Red Wings, the Lightning won all 3 games at home. The also won 2 of the 3 at home against the Islanders. The Penguins however only won 1 road game against the Capitals – although did win both road games against the Rangers.

For me – I gotta take the Tampa Bay Lightning. They’ve won one and matched up well against the Penguins in Game 2. Both of those games were on the road. Now they’re at home with a 2.15 price. To me that’s the correct money decision.

Lightning to Win.

Penguins vs Lightning

Scott  Stralman had a nice return to action scoring a goal in the 1st.  Crosby finally scored for the Penguins which was his first goal since the first round and also his first career OT goal in the playoffs.  The Penguins have out shot the Lightning 76-41 so Tampa will need Vasilevskiy to continue his strong play until Bishop comes back.  This is a tough game to call.   The Penguins have been great on the road going 11-3 over their last 14 road games.  So I’m going with the Pens in this one.

Penguins Win

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BetNHL.ca » Tonights Tips » May 18th, 2016 NHL Betting Tips
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Arto Reinikainen

2/2 in this series so far after going with the Bolts in game 1, and OT in game 2. Let’s hope it continues the same way !

Tonight’s game is by far the toughest of the series to predict, for me at least. Before the series started i felt like the Pens would start rolling after winning game 2, but Stralman came back quicker than i thought and the Bolts have showed some tremendous fight, they don’t fall easily (IMO much credit goes to Cooper, he’s become one of the best coaches out there). I feel inclined to go for the Bolts as their odds are A LOT better than they should be, which funny enough was the theme in the first 2 games. Bolts had ridiculous odds in game 1 and OT odds jumped by ~0.3 odds during the evening before game 2 as people bet on the Pens hard.

Of course there has to be a reason to back up the Bolts other than odds, and there are many reasons why they should win. They’re one of the best home teams out there even though they weren’t magical in the regular season, but i thought they underperformed/had tough injuries most of the time anyway, to me it was clear they didn’t have the drive in the regular season after getting to the finals last year. Said year they were #1 home team and they’ve gotten stuff done this post-season as well.
I mean overall, to me the Pens are slight underdogs in this one. I see the Bolts playing a good game in front of their fans, and they should have a lot of fight in them after losing game 2. Edge that the Pens had roster-wise in the first 2 games have diminished now that both Stralman and Callahan are in the lineup, as well as Maatta supposedly missing another game (i don’t think they want to change the winning lineup).

I’ll admit im a bit worried how good the Pens have been on the road, and how they’re able to counter-attack. It could turn out to be one of those games where the Bolts are the better team, but the Pens play solid defensively, Murray does his job and they’re opportunistic.

Anyway, i feel like i have enough reasons to go for the Bolts in this one. Considering all the things i just said, 2.15 ML odds are way too good to pass on.

Good luck !


good analysis. I was so impressed by the Pens last game and their big guns had fire in their eyes. I think they are the better team and playing with great chemistry. As much as I’d like to see the Bolts win tonight, I think Pens ride their veterans’ backs and take it to the Bolts.

Arto Reinikainen

It was close to a must-win for the Pens though, and in that type of game home advantage is always huge. Couldn’t really expect anything else than the Pens playing a solid game with all kinds of drive, yet Tampa hang on to OT when most of the people expected them to lose in regulation.

It’s tough to see them playing the same way tonight as it’s a completely different scenario. But we’ll see how it goes. A lot will depend on who comes out on top, Vasi or Murray.