2011 NHL Hockey Free Playoff Predictions: Lightning vs Penguins
NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2011 Game Five
Saturday April 23, 2011 – 12:00 PM ET
Venue: Consol Energy Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Tampa Bay Lightning at Pittsburgh Penguins
Betting Lines From Bodog.com:
Money Line: Pittsburgh -150
CLICK HERE FOR our LIVE NHL ATS Betting Stats For This Game —>
CANADIAN? CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT BODOG.CA SPORTSBOOK —–>
All of the talk before the 2011 NHL playoffs got underway was about how it was supposed to be the Pittsburgh Penguins that would struggle offensively without team captain Sidney Crosby and Russian superstar Evgeni Malkin in the lineup.
As the series shifts back to the Consol Energy Center for game five with the Penguins leading the best-of-seven three-games-to-one, it has been the Tampa Bay Lightning that have had trouble scoring goals.
The Bolts have managed just four goals in three losses in the series, and will now have to find a way to break out of their slump when their backs against the wall as they face elimination in game five on Saturday.
The lone bright spot for the Lightning offensively has been the play of veteran winger Martin St. Louis, who has been absolutely dominant. The 35-year old leads the league in goals with four this postseason and his six points are the most for any player in the series, but he hasn’t gotten enough help from his friends through four games.
Steven Stamkos and captain Vincent Lecavalier have struggled to find the back of the net, and although both have talked about how they are feeling better with every game there isn’t any time left to prepare. The Lightning responded to a 3-0 loss in game one by bouncing back to take game two 5-1.
Whether or not head coach Guy Boucher can rally his troops once again nobody can be sure, but in this situation Tampa Bay is taking the series one game at a time.
The biggest question mark has been how Pittsburgh has looked so strong in comparison even without Crosby and Malkin.
The Penguins outshot and outchanced Tampa Bay in both of their road wins, with a series of depth forwards rising to the occasion to lea the offense. Aaron Asham has scored three goals in four games, while Maxime Talbot and Tyler Kennedy have also found the back of the net.
An underrated aspect of Pittsburgh’s play has been the confidence the team has gotten from netminder Marc-Andre Fleury, who has looked sharp in all but one game this series.
Fleury has outplayed counterpart Dwayne Roloson so far, and if he can get the job done one more time then the Penguins will be punch their ticket into the second round.
Hey! I wanna tell you something! Our “IN-HOUSE” Sports capper Ray “The Razor” Monohan is on FIRE with his NHL Picks over the last 30 days! Wanna make some $$$$ betting on NHL games? Check out Ray’s plays today! The #1 NHL Capper In The World! NHL Top Plays (+915) 9-0 L9 100% Run!