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Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Ottawa Senators Free Game 4 Pick | NHL Preview

Penguins vs Senators NHL Spread/Handicapping

For the Pittsburgh Penguins Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semi-final was “the one they let slip away” but for the Ottawa Senators it was a reward for all of the good work that they did in the first two games against the heavily favored Penguins.

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Pittsburgh Penguins (42-14-1-0) at Ottawa Senators (30-20-2-4)
When: 7:30 PM ET, Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Where: Scotiabank Place, Ottawa, Ontario
Broadcast: CBC, RDS, NBCSN
Penguins lead series 2-1
Pens vs. Sens Betting Lines from Bookmaker.eu
Pittsburgh Penguins -1½ +210 -142 Ov 5½ +113
Ottawa Senators +1½ -250 +129 Un 5½ -125

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Sens Look to Even It Up Against Juggernaut Penguins

The Pens and the Sens take to the ice again Wednesday night after a little rest and an exhausting double overtime Game 3 with the Penguins looking to set up an elimination game and the Senators looking to even up a series that nobody gave them a chance in.

The Pittsburgh Penguins did a lot of good things in Game 3. They fired 50 shots at Craig Anderson, they stayed out of the penalty box and they allowed zero goals in the first 59 minutes of the game – usually good enough to win a hockey game.

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But one breakdown while on the power play with 28.6 seconds left in the game allowed the Senators to tie the game and one bad break when a defenseman lost his stick in overtime is all it took – the Senators were afforded a new life and were given some much needed mojo heading into Game 4.

But there is absolutely no denying the speed and the skill that Pittsburgh demonstrated Sunday night – they were the more dangerous looking team and maybe deserved a better fate. That said, for the first time in the postseason, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, James Neal, Chris Kunitz, Pascal Dupuis, Jarome Iginla and Kris Letang were all held off the score sheet – something that likely won`t be duplicated Wednesday night.

Evgeni Malkin registered 10 shots on goal Sunday, Kris Letang had seven shots, James Neal had five shots and Sidney Crosby chipped in with two shots. There were a ton of quality chances directed Craig Anderson’s way – all that was missing was the finish.

Thomas Vokoun continues to be the answer between the pipes for Pittsburgh – he made 46 saves on Sunday night and is 4-1-1 in the playoffs with a 1.61 GAA and .949 save percentage.

The Ottawa Senators were 28 seconds away from a 3-0 hole in the series but a bit of puck luck and some determination now has them staring at an even series. Thanks to Craig Anderson who responded from getting pulled in Game 2 with a game for the ages – 49 saves against one of the scariest offenses in the game. Anderson will likely have to steal another game or two for the Senators to have a chance in the series but it looks like he is ready to hold up his end of the bargain. [ad-4437448]

The Senators also benefitted from a bounce back game from Erik Karlsson who was dominant again in the win. The return of Jason Spezza provided an emotional boost as well as adding to the depth up the middle for Ottawa. Spezza’s creativity with the puck and vision did create a few chances, and though he expressed some concern about his timing in the faceoff circle, he finished the night a pretty good 15-for-25.

The stars seem to be aligning for the Senators but there is no doubt that they will have to find a way to neutralize the speed of the Penguins. Pittsburgh got far too many stellar opportunities Sunday and given those same chances Wednesday they are likely to convert at a much higher rate.

Betting Prediction

A few trends to consider:

• Over is 7-1 in PIT last 8 Wed. games.
• PIT are 39-12 in their last 51 overall.
• Under is 9-3 in PIT last 12 vs. Northeast.
• Over is 16-4-1 in OTT last 21 Wed. games.
• Under is 15-5-6 in OTT last 26 vs. Atlantic.
• Under is 30-12-9 in OTT last 51 home games.

The Ottawa Senators played about as well as one could imagine against Pittsburgh and yet it was an uncharacteristic mistake that allowed them to crawl back in the game. Pittsburgh still looked like the more dangerous team on Sunday despite the loss and I expect much of the same in Game 4. Craig Anderson is a terrific keeper but he isn’t magic.

Take the Pens to put the Sens on the brink!

Pick: Pittsburgh Penguins -142


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