Home Still Sweet To Predators
Predators build at Bridgestone
Home ice continues to be a safe haven for the Nashville Predators. A rousing 5-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final at Bridgestone Arena gave them their first win of the series. They will look to pull even and improve to 9-1 at home in Game 4. We look at whether Nashville can make that happen, based on odds provided by Bovada.lv:
Nashville's lone loss at home this season was an overtime defeat against Anaheim in the Western Conference final. The Predators have outscored the opposition 30-14 at Bridgestone Arena. Home cooking also got Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne heated up once more after he allowed eight goals in the first two games of the Cup final series in Pittsburgh. Rinne owns a 1.49 goals-against average and .949 save percentage on home ice.
Nashville's defense is significantly more productive than Pittsburgh's, and that advantage shone through in Game 3. Three Predators registered multiple points in the Game 3 triumph, including defensemen Roman Josi (1-2-3) and Mattias Ekholm (1- 1-2). Nashville blueliners have combined for 14-36-50 totals during the playoffs, tops in the NHL. Ekholm (1-9-10) became the fourth Predators defenseman to reach double-digits in scoring this postseason, joining Josi (6-8-14), Ryan Ellis (5-7-12) and P.K. Subban (2-9-11).
Only two other teams in NHL history have had four blueliners each record at least 10 points in the same playoff year - the 1984 Edmonton Oilers and 1993 Los Angeles Kings. Josi, who factored in on all three Nashville goals in the middle frame, registered his sixth tally of the playoffs, most among defensemen. He became the first blueliner to post three points in one period of a Stanley Cup final game since Pittsburgh’s Larry Murphy on May 23, 1991 against the Minnesota North Stars.
Meanwhile, Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin both failed to register a shot in a playoff game for the first time in their careers as teammates. And goalie Matt Murray allowed a playoff-worst five goals against.
The long bright spot for the Penguins was rookie forward Jake Guentzel, who scored for the third straight game.
Going Over Board
The Predators lived by the under through the first three rounds of the playoffs. They are 10-3 when the total goes under 5.5, the number that's been posted for the over/under for every game of the final series thus far.
You would think that more goals plays into the hands of the Penguins, but the numbers don't reflect that. Pittsburgh is 5-5 when the total goes over 5.5.
So keep playing the over at +105, and surprisingly, that's a good thing for Nashville.
Pick: The Predators (-155) and the over (5.5)
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