NHL Betting Blog: Game 5 In Eastern Conference Finals

Pittsburgh Penguins

Sunday, May 21, 2017 6:04 PM GMT

After five straight games of scoring one goal against the Ottawa defense, Pittsburgh broke through in 3-2 victory in Game 4 to even the series at 2-2 and heads back home, where they are large favorites.

The NHL odds have the Penguins as -200 home favorites and at this time it is unknown if forwards Bryan Rust, Patric Hornqvist and Tom Kuhnhackl and defenseman Justin Schultz will return after missing Friday's contest. What we do know is defenseman Chad Ruhwedel will be out after suffering concussion, further thinning a thin group of injured blue-liners.

Those betting hockey who prefer Pittsburgh had to be thrilled with Sidney Crosby's domineering effort and if they can get Evgeni Malkin back rolling, the Pens will take the series lead.

If you watched Game 4, you had the sense the Penguins wanted goalie Matt Murray to succeed. This was Murray's first start of the playoffs, after he was injured before Game 1 of the first series. Murray might appear calm, but he had to be nervous, knowing if he was not sharp, his club would be down 3-1 to Ottawa.

The Senators, they have to get back to negating Pittsburgh speed, which was on display the last two periods. Ottawa knows the territory, having lost to Boston in Game 5 and to the New York Rangers in Game 4 of those series and each time responded with a victory. Nevertheless, either of those teams had the speed the Penguins possess.

This contest will be on NBC at 3:00 Eastern Sunday and in spite of Ottawa being 13-8 off a home loss, Pittsburgh is 37-14 on home ice off a road confrontation and appears to be the stronger wager.