|PIT (-166) @ pinnacle|
7 of 7 Experts (100%) with a pick on the moneyline are aligned. 8* play on the Pittsburgh Penguins (Staight-up).
Ben Burns: 3-GAME NHL
Down 1-0, we saw the best from the Penguins in Game 2. Down 2-1 and facing elimination, I expect another determined effort from Crosby and co. in Game 4. Yes, Game 3 was a tough loss, as they appeared to be in control. However, this team still has the talent and the experience to overcome it. As Montreal coach Julien noted: "...we're playing a team that knows exactly what to do to get back into a series..." Remember, the Pens had a +28 goal differential in the season while the Habs were -9. I say this one's going the distance.
AAA Sports: AAA'S *10* "RED DRAGON" >> 33-12 RUN! 10-1 THIS WEEK!
We’ve backed Montreal in both games that they won in this qualification series. But with their backs against the wall (facing elimination) today, we’ll go with the (still) favored Penguins. Pittsburgh was the 5-seed coming into the NHL’s restart, but has seen its power play really struggle in the series. After going 1 for 12 with the man advantage in the first two games, they did break through with a pair of power play goals Wednesday night. But shockingly, they could not hold a 3-1 lead, instead conceding three unanswered goals to lose 4-3. It is a little shocking to see the Canadiens in this position knowing that they were outscored in the regular season. Both teams have scored eight times in the series. Montreal not only had to fight back from a 2-goal deficit to take Game 3, they also needed OT to win Game 1. So Pittsburgh could have honestly swept the series. Despite how we’ve played the series so far, we know that the Penguins are the better team and they should improve to 9-3 the last 12 meetings with Montreal after tonight. This series is going to a deciding 5th game.
Will Rogers: 10* NHL PLAYOFF GAME OF THE YEAR (THE BIG ONE!)
The set-up: I think the Penguins are going to dip deep here and find a way to get the job done and push this series to a pivotal Game 5. Matt Murray is still 1-2 with a 2.50 GAA in this series. He also is 4-1-0 with a tiny 2.19 GAA lifetime vs. Montreal.
The pick: Carey Price has been key in his clubs early success, as he's 2-1-0 with a 2.19 GAA. Overall though Price is only 13-14-5 with 3.01 GAA lifetime vs. Pittsburgh. Montreal has exceeded expectations and I believe a very predictable letdown is imminent here. The Pens are loaded with offensive talent and heart and I look for that to be on full display tonight. I'm laying the price and expecting a blowout and then our first official Game 5.
Scott Rickenbach: 2nd of 3 in NHL 3-pack
The Canadiens are up 2-1 in this series but the most dominating win belongs to the Penguins. Give Montreal credit for sure but it took OT to win Game 1 and then it took rallying from a 2-goal deficit in Game 3. Just like we saw after Game 1, look for the Penguins to rally the troops here. Pittsburgh is loaded with experienced veterans and they can play with pressure on their backs and in their heads. They raise the level of their games in this one and noticed my slightly reduced rating for this play since the money line is in the -155 range but I just can't pass up this opportunity. I see a lot of value here with the Penguins off a loss and having already shown in this series what they're capable of when fired up off a loss. Look for the Pens to come up with another huge effort like they did in Game 2 as they stave off elimination and force a game 5 winner takes all match-up for this weekend.
Al McMordie: BIG AL's NHL PLAYOFFS TRIPLE PACK (GO 3-0)!
With their backs against the wall, the Pens might turn to Tristan Jarry in goal against Montreal tonight. While you certainly can't blame Matt Murray entirely for the difficult position the Pens find themselves in -- one loss away from elimination -- and you can't blame coach Mike Sullivan for using him in Game 3 after his performance before that, don't be surprised if there is a change today. Jarry was better in the regular season and, at this point, the Pens can't afford to lose. The good news for them is that their two losses have been very close. And with a couple of different bounces, they would be the ones with the 2-1 lead. The Habs are 8-17 (-12 games on the money line) after scoring more than 3 goals in their previous game, while Pittsburgh is 20-13 when playing with revenge from an upset loss.
Larry Ness: Larry's NHL 3-in-1 STP
The Montreal Canadiens took a No. 12 seed (last in the Eastern Conference) into their qualifying round series against the fifth-seeded Pittsburgh Penguins. Montreal won Game 1 in overtime, lost Game 2 (3-1) and then overcame a two-goal deficit with three unanswered goals Wednesday to take Game 3 by a 4-3 score. The teams meet Friday in Game 4, as Montreal has a chance to eliminate the Penguins (86 points to Montreal's 71 during the regular season), who won back-to-back Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017.
The Penguins are an experienced group with a core of veterans who have two or more championship rings. The Penguins took a 3-1 lead in Game 3 and seemed headed to taking a 2-1 lead in the series but that didn't turn out to be the case (see above). "We've just done it by working hard," Canadiens head coach Claude Julien said about his team's 2-1 lead. "At the end of the day, we know where the experience is. The only way we can counter that is with our work ethic and our commitment and desire. We lack experience compared to the other team, but we're trying to make it up with our compete level." I will NOT overthink this. The Penguins are the MUCH better team ( review the teams' regular season records above!) and as captain Sidney Crosby (owner of three Cup rings) said, "I think it's pretty clear-cut when you're in that situation -- you've got to go out there and find ways to win a hockey game!"
Dan Kaiser: NHL 1
Analysis to come.
Best of luck!
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