The Penguins came out flying in Game 1 of their series with the Capitals on Thursday night, and it was a dandy. The Penguins vs Capitals Odds on 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs series will be one for the ages, I think. While Pittsburgh is missing top defenseman Kristopher Letang on the back end, the rest of their core has really stepped up. I did not expect a few of them to bounce back from injuries like they have.
Penguins vs Capitals Odds on 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs
To me, this series is destined to go seven games. Here’s why:
– We have yet to see a shutdown performance from Braden Holtby in these playoffs. He is not an average goaltender, folks. Despite Washington’s lack of advancement beyond the second round in recent years, Holtby’s save percentage has been outstanding. I expect that he will steal a game or two in this series. My hunch? Game 2 will be his masterpiece
-Sidney Crosby relishes his head-to-head matchups with Alex Ovechkin. Sid is much more complete player, but it was his quick strike, Ovy-ike two goals in the opening game that stole the show. Expect Caps coach Barry Trotz to better game plan for Game 2
-Evgeni Malkin will steal a game all by himself. So even if Washington shuts down Sid, Malkin, who was the best offensive player in the playoffs for the first round, will take over a game in this series and keep the Pens in it.
-Speaking of Ovechkin, he is desperate to get out of the second round and so as this series goes on I believe that he’ll get better and better.
-Nick Bonino was so key for the Penguins in their winning NHL pick to win it all last year. He was not great in Game 1 and so look for him to take his game up a level in the second frame of this matchup.
-Marc-Andre Fleury was solid in Game 1, but there’s a reason he wasn’t the starting goalie in these playoffs initially. Shouldn’t we expect the bottom to fall out at some point? I don’t know, it’s just a thought.
-Justin Williams is Mr. Game 7 in his playoff career, having gone 7-0. But his team needs to win three games first to make that happen. I believe that he will be clutch once again before this series is over. He was outstanding in the opening round.
Matthew Ross is a sports commentator and a radio host on TSN 690 Radio in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Follow him @MatthewWords.