NHL Hockey Betting: Pittsburgh Penguins at Tampa Bay Lightning

NHL Hockey Betting:  Pittsburgh Penguins at Tampa Bay Lightning&h=235&w=320&zc=1

The Tampa Bay Lightning are nothing if not resilient. They’ve shown a real knack for finding ways to ‘win ugly’ during this playoff season. That’s something that began last year during their run to the Stanley Cup Finals. Tampa Bay has plenty of scorers but they unfairly get the rep as a ‘finesse team’. They can ‘grind’ as well as any team in the NHL. The general public hasn’t realized that Tampa Bay is no longer ‘soft’ which is fine with us since it results in some incorrect valuations on this team that we can use to our advantage. Now they’re one win away from advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals leading the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 with Game Six on home ice at the Amalie Arena.

Hockey can be a maddening game for a number of reasons, not the least of which is how quickly a team’s luck can change from game to game. Just a few days ago the biggest story in hockey was the exceptional play that the Lightning had gotten out of 21 year old rookie Matt Murray. Murray had a bad outing in Game Four which resulted in him getting the hook in favor of Marc-Andre Fleury. It was Fleury’s first game action since he sustained his second concussion of the year late in the regular season. Tampa Bay came back with Fleury in Game Five and he looked rusty and out of sync and said as much after the game. So now the Penguins are playing for their survival and have a goaltending dilemma—a rusty Marc-Andre Fleury or an inexperienced Matt Murray?

Tampa Bay was perceived to have a huge problem when goaltender Ben Bishop went down during Game One of this series with a leg injury. Instead, *their* 21 year old backup goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy has stepped up and played exceptionally well. He’ll be between the pipes for Tampa Bay here. All throughout this series we’ve been on Tampa Bay simply because they’re undervalued and the Penguins overpriced. That hasn’t changed here. Pittsburgh is a -140 home favorite but we think Tampa Bay is the better team and they’re definitely the better value.


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