Pittsburgh Penguins (37-16-3) at New York Islanders (27-23-6 ATS)
This East Division shift to the Big Apple tied at one game apiece. The Penguins are the top seed in the East and avoided an 0-2 hole beating the Islanders 2-1 in the last game. This game can be seen on NBCSC.
(At time of writing lines for this game have not been posted but check back as they will be soon.)
In the regular season the Penguins won six of eight games facing the Islanders.
The Islanders are led by a defense that ranks second in the league in goals against per game (2.23) and they have given up five goals in the first two games of this series.
While the Islanders rank second in the league in goals against the Penguins rank second in goals per game. However, it was their solid defense that got in done in the Game 2 win and their attack has not looked great in the two games.
The home team has won four of the last five games between these teams.
Good Start, Good D Leads to Win
In the Game 2 win the Penguins scored both goals in the first period and played solid defense. They outshot the Islanders 45-38 with Bryan Rust and Jeff Carter each lighting the lamp in the win.
Tristan Jarry (25-9-3 2.75 GAA) was solid in between the pipes stopping 37 of 38 shots after giving up four goals in the 4-3 OT Game 1 loss. He will likely get the start in this game, as he was solid in the last one and backup Casey DeSmith (11-7-0 2.54 GAA) is out with an injury.
The balanced Penguins team has three players that have scored at least 22 goals. Sidney Crosby leads the team in goals (24), points (62), and assists (38), scored a goal in Game 1, and over his last five games has four goals and two assists.
Jake Guentzel ranks second on the Pens in goals (23) and points (57) and he has not lit the lamp in his last four games where he has two assists.
The Penguins have won 17 of their last 25 games following a win.
On the season Pittsburgh is 15-12-1 on the road.
Not Quite the Same Attack
In the Game 2 loss the Islanders only scored one goal while in the Game 1 win they scored four goals.
Josh Baily scored the lone goal in Game 1 and Semyon Varlamov (`19-11-4 2.04 GAA) gave up two goals on 45 shots and the Islanders have lost his last four starts even though he has only given up two goals in his last three starts. Ilya Sorokin
Ilya Sorokin (13-6-3 2.17 GAA) may get the nod for Game 3 and he started Game 1 giving up three goals on 42 shots.
The Islanders did score four goals in the Game 1 win but their offense struggled in the last game and on the season they only rank 20th in the league averaging 2.71 goals per game.
Brock Nelson leads New York with 18 goals, scored in the Game 1 win, and has three goals and two assists in his last four games.
The Penguins have won seven of their last nine road games and the Islanders have won 21 of their last 28 home games.
The Penguins have only totaled five goals in the series facing the solid Islanders defense. Pittsburgh played solid D in the last game only allowing one goal and I see them doing that again. I look for another low scoring game and like the last game the Penguins will come out on top and take a 2-1 lead in this series.
PICK: Penguins +105