It’s hard to go against an 8-1 home record so NHL handicapper Dana Lane is riding that home success tonight.
The Penguins must get more production from their special teams and their superstars. It’s not really any more complicated than that.
The Penguins power play has been powerless after bringing in a special teams unit that was having more success in the postseason than a regular season at 25%. In the Final, Nashville has managed to kill off 12 of 13 Penguins man advantages. In their 21:26 with the advantage Mike Sullivan’s team has only 4 shots. They must generate more chances or at least get pucks to the net on a consistent basis for them to have a chance tonight.
With Kris Letang out of the line-up and Pittsburgh having to change their wide open style to just get the puck out of their own end. They resemble the Dallas Stars of last season who was able to outshoot their troubles. With Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin not recording a shot on goal in game three, the Penguins don’t appear that they are in a position to be a force five on five, at least for now. This is why collecting points on special teams are imperative if the Pens are to find success.
Unlike the Penguins the Predators do a great job of getting everyone involved in the offensive zone which is why they have four defensemen with at least 10 points; combined the Peter Laviolette’s blue line has 50 points in 19 games.
In game three Laviolette inserted some more speed in an effort to overwhelm the Penguins pedestrian pace. Harry Zolneirczyk and P.A. Parenteau were inserted adding speed to their fourth line.
It’s fair to say that outside a period and a half the Predators have outplayed the Pittsburgh Penguins. With that being said I have to see a different energy level from Pittsburgh, especially at Bridgestone Arena where the Predators have won eight of nine postseason games. I am going to eat the chalk with the Predators for my NHL pick.