Sidney Crosby is the lone active NHL player with multiple Conn Smythe trophies to his name, and yet his play is a big part of the reason the Pens find themselves down 2-0 in their series against the Islanders.
Crosby and Co. hope the return to Pittsburgh will spark a veteran-laden lineup.
Islanders vs. Penguins Stanley Cup Playoffs Betting Analysis
No team in the NHL was a better bet away from home ice than the New York Islanders. A $100 bettor would be up $1225 (12.25 units) if they backed the Isles in each of their road games. New York is 4-0 in its last four games and 10-4 in its last 14 as an away underdog.
The Isles haven’t been up 2-0 in a playoff series since 1983 and they have just one postseason series win since 1994. Sports Interaction lists the Isles as -357 favourites to move on to the second round while the Pens are paying +250 to advance.
Pittsburgh is now 1-4 in its last five games and 1-6 straight up in its last seven playoff games dating back to last spring. The Pens are 38-17 in their last 55 home games against the Islanders.
The Under is 1-1 in the series, but there are a number of trends that support a play on the total in Game 3. The Under is 19-6-2 in the Islanders’ last 27 road dates and 8-2-1 in the Pens’ last 11 home games.
New York Islanders
The Islanders don’t have much in the department of stars players, but their starting goalie continues to make a name for himself. Just like the regular season, Robin Lehner finds himself among the league-leaders in the playoffs for save percentage and goals against average.
He’s not the only player making things difficult for the Pens. Former Edmonton Oiler Jordan Eberle has scored in each of the first two games and he’s been on the ice for six of the Islanders’ seven goals in these playoffs.
It comes down to this: the Penguins can’t win this series without more production from Sidney Crosby. He’s yet to produce a point in the series and his linemate and 40-goal scorer, Jake Guentzel failed to register a shot in Game 2.
Islanders coach Barry Trotz bounced Sid the Kid from the playoffs last year as the Capitals bench boss and he appears poised to repeat the feat for the second time in less than 12 months.