NHL Picks & Pucklines Tonight: Can't Conquer Crosby
Will Penguins & Predators Clinch Series?
Philadelphia finally decided to go with Michael Neuvirth to start game five, after Brian Elliott surrendered a deluge of goals in three of the first four matches of the series. Philly fending off elimination in Pittsburgh was a direct result of Neuvirth guarding the net, allowing the Flyers to survive the Penguins attack long enough to steal a game five victory with two goals in the last two minutes of regulation. Elliott allowed far too many easy scores, which prevented the Flyers from competing with the favored Penguins.
The Avalanche pulled off a remarkable comeback against the Predators during the third period of game five. Nashville looked ready to proceed to the next round after Nick Bonino lifted the Preds to a 1-0 lead with less than ten minutes left on the clock. Instead, Nate MacKinnon fed Landeskog a beauty pass to tie the game with less than four minutes left. Sven Andrighetto completed the incredible comeback by counter-attacking an overaggressive Predators attack with less than a minute and a half in the match.
Similar to the Flyers, Colorado’s replacement netminder, Andrew Hammond, ended up stealing the show by kicking away 44 of 45 shots, reminding the NHL why he was briefly known as the Hamburglar. Anything can happen in game seven, so the Predators and the Penguins want to avoid this scenario against hungry, lower seeds with a series-clinching win in game six. Expect the Predators and the Penguins to pull out all the stops on the road, while the Flyers and Avalanche buckle under the extreme pressure of the 2018 NHL playoffs.
NHL Straight Up Picks & Puckline Predictions
- Nashville at Colorado: Bet Predators Puckline (+155)
- Pittsburgh at Philadelphia: Bet Penguins Puckline (+155)
NHL Playoffs - Best Picks & Pucklines
Penguins at Flyers – Bet Pittsburgh Puckline (+155)
Injuries tend to be unavoidable in the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Flyers might not skate Ivan Provorov, while the Penguins list Evgeni Malkin as a game-time decision. Provorov averages 25:43 TOI during this series, indispensable to the Flyers blueline in all situations. Malkin’s the leading regular season scorer for the Penguins, but Pittsburgh’s forward depth will be able to adjust to Geno’s absence, if necessary. Patric Hornqvist appears ready to return, an underrated sniper for the Penguins throughout the season.
Pittsburgh lost game five because of special teams incompetence, whiffing on all five power play opportunities. Expect the Penguins to run away with game six, sending Philly to the links with a puckline victory.
Avalanche at Predators – Bet Nashville Puckline (+155)
Colorado were outplayed during the first two and a half periods in game five, before defeating the Predators in the final five minutes of the match. Nashville won’t make the same mistakes that allowed the series clinching game to slip away, and the Hamburglar probably won’t stop 44 of 45 shots again. The Avalanche were dominated throughout the series, despite finding a way to win a pair of games against the Presidents’ Trophy winners.
Nashville wants to avoid game seven at all cost, so wager on a Predators puckline win to move on to the second round.
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