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Penguins Must Re-discover Goal Scoring Touch
Penguins Can't Find The Net
By Bob Duff
When you look at the talent on their roster, the last thing that you'd think should be a concern of the Pittsburgh Penguins would be scoring goals. Yet two games into the Eastern Conference final, the Penguins have scored twice. Will that change on the road in Ottawa? We break it down, based on odds set by Bovada.lv:
The Penguins only got one goal in Game 2, a third-period tally by Phil Kessel. But it was enough, as Marc-Andre Fleury made 23 saves for his second shutout of the playoffs and franchise-leading 10th of his career.
The Penguins actually outshot the Senators 29-23 in Game 2, just the second time in 14 playoff games that Pittsburgh has won the shot battle. Ottawa's smothering 1-3-1 trap, often referred to as the Kanata Wall, has befuddled Pittsburgh's big shooters.
Another factor working in Ottawa's favor is that the Senators are solid and deep at center with Kyle Turris, Derick Brassard, Zack Smith and Jean-Gabriel Pageau, so they can match up well against Pttsburgh's 1-2 punch of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
And with the last-change advantage of home ice, Ottawa coach Guy Boucher will be able to designate who he wants on the ice against those two superstars, both of them past Conn Smythe Trophy winners.
The Penguins gave the Senators a little taste of their own medicine, holding Ottawa shotless for a 19-minute span that started in the second period and carried on until late in the third. Kessel's goal was his first point in three games and second in five but you have to think the Penguins shooters, who were able to light up Columbus and Washington, will eventually click against the Senators.
There is no update on whether Pittsburgh forward Bryan Rust or defenseman Justin Schultz, both injured in Game 2, or Penguins forward Patric Hornqvist, an injury scratch for Game 2, will be able to go in Game 3.
Back On Top
If you slept on that chance to grab the Penguins at +220 to win the Stanley Cup, you might live to regret it.
Following their Game 2 triumph over the Senators, Bovada re-installed the Penguins as the chalk in their Stanley Cup futures book at +150.
If you are more interested in playing a longshot, you can still get the Senators at +500, the highest on the board of the four teams still left in the hunt for Lord Stanley's mug.
Pick: The Penguins (-130) and the under (5)
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