NHL Hockey Betting: Tampa Bay Lightning at Pittsburgh Penguins

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

The Tampa Bay Lightning took care of business in Game Four of this best of seven Eastern Conference Final series and that takes us back to Pittsburgh tied at 2-2. The game wasn’t as close as the final score would suggest. Tampa Bay led 4-0 after two periods and had to withstand a furious Penguins’ rally in the third before holding on for a 4-3 victory. A lot of interesting plotlines in this game. Matt Murray was pulled after allowing four goals in two periods. That might have been for his own protection more than anything else as he faced 30 shots in the first forty minutes of play. Marc-Andre Fleury came on in relief and made 7 saves on 7 shots. Andrei Vasilevskiy was solid in the first two periods and good enough in the third to get the win. He faced 22 shots in the first two periods and was on the wrong end of a 16 shot barrage in the third.

Plenty of plotlines here but the most interesting one might be Pittsburgh’s goaltending situation. Could Marc-Andre Fleury start Game Five? As we noted above, Murray got the hook after the second period but if the Penguins were assessing proper blame the entire defense corps would have also got the hook. Murray has been amazingly poised for a 21 year old rookie but even so Pittsburgh needs to keep the shots against him down. Ben Bishop is still listed as ‘questionable’ for Tampa Bay but there’s probably not a compelling reason to put him out there. Vasilievsky has been very good throughout the series and although the three goals he allowed in the third period made this game closer than it should have been that’s really on his teammates–the simply lost their intensity and thought they could just coast through the third period.

The pricing on this series continues to be insane. Pittsburgh was a -150 favorite in Tampa for Game Four and they’re now at their highest price of the series for Game Five–a whopping -210 chalk. I knew that the Penguins were a ‘public’ team but had no idea that they were this much of one. As we’ve said throughout this is a coin flip and we’re getting +175.


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