NHL Picks: Penguins vs. Senators Game 3

David Lawrence

Sunday, May 19, 2013 2:35 PM GMT

The Pittsburgh Penguins protected their home-ice advantage by winning the first two games of their second-round series with Ottawa.


Now the venues change and Ottawa will have to hope that the home-ice advantage that was so kind to them in the regular season continues in the playoffs. It’s do or die time for the Senators: if they lose Game 3, this series is over.

The Pittsburgh Penguins can win because…

The Sens are young and inexperienced. Ottawa has a very green team and they are facing their first urgent situation. Against Montreal, it was smooth sailing. Now they’re facing the Pens and they’re backs are up against the wall.

People making their NHL picks at the beginning of the series figured Ottawa would have a couple of edges: in net and with team speed. However, Pittsburgh has outskated the Sens and Craig Anderson has been wonky. Experience, depth and talent all lie with the Pens here and that’s why they’ll get the job done.

The Ottawa Senators can win because…

Urgency is on their side. The Sens know that this thing is over if they fall behind by three games, so that means they are going to give their best effort in Game 3. They should also get a boost to their lineup as forward Jason Spezza is expected to return.

The Sens were badly outplayed in Game 1 but made it close in Game 2. Now that they are back at home, where they were 15-6-3 this season, that should be enough to put them over the top.

[gameodds]7/236292/43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

Outlook & Pick

A lot of bettors will be tempted to take the Pens here with the road discount on the NHL odds, but I’m not too keen on laying -130. I do think they win this game but we’ll see Ottawa’s best performance here. That likely means the side on this game is a coin toss.

Instead, I’ll take the over. The Pens have scored eight goals in two games and the Sens know they need more offense just to hang around. Both teams will be aggressive at the offensive end. Take the over in this game.

Pick: Over 5.5 at Bet 365

Also Check out my Picks on the Rangers & Bruins!~