2016 NHL Futures – Series Picks
Looking for Lightning vs. Penguins free series predictions & playoff picks? You’ve come to the right place if you’re searching for NHL Futures.The Eastern Conference Finals are set and the overall number 1 seed is not involved. The Tampa Bay Lightning and Pittsburgh Penguins will meet in the Eastern Conference Finals starting on Friday. Cappers Picks covers all 2016 NHL Playoff series – so check back as we’ll be adding more.
NHL Lines & Matchup Insight
NHL Betting – Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Eastern Conference Finals Series Preview and Picks
Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh meet here in the Eastern Conference Finals, which means the #1 seed is out, thanks to Pittsburgh.
The Lightning had a bit more time off as they took care of the Islanders with rather ease. Things were made exceptionally easy on them as they took both games in Brooklyn to take a commanding 3-1 series lead. Then when the series shifted to Tampa Bay, it was all over.
For the Penguins, they took down the top team in the NHL. After splitting games in Washington to open the series, the Pens returned home to take both games. After they couldn’t clinch in Washington, Game 6 was as dramatic as can be. The Pens blew a 3-0 lead, but found the back of the net in overtime to secure a series win.
Both teams have similar styles of play, which should make this very interesting.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Series Lines
- Tampa Bay Lightning +180
- Pittsburgh Penguins -210
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Series Schedule
- FRI MAY 13, 2016 LIGHTNING PENGUINS 8:00 PM CBC, NBCSN, TVAS
- MON MAY 16, 2016 LIGHTNING PENGUINS 8:00 PM CBC, NBCSN, TVAS
- WED MAY 18, 2016 PENGUINS LIGHTNING 8:00 PM CBC, NBCSN, TVAS
- FRI MAY 20, 2016 PENGUINS LIGHTNING 8:00 PM CBC, NBCSN, TVAS
- SUN MAY 22, 2016 LIGHTNING PENGUINS 8:00 PM CBC, NBCSN, TVAS
- TUE MAY 24, 2016 PENGUINS LIGHTNING 8:00 PM CBC, NBCSN, TVAS
- THU MAY 26, 2016 LIGHTNING PENGUINS 8:00 PM CBC, NBCSN, TVAS
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Series Forwards
Typically when it comes to the Pittsburgh Penguins, these forwards wouldn’t survive without Sydney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin. That however was the case in their 2nd round matchup against the Caps.
The duo combined for just 1 goal in the entire series. It was the third line of Carl Hagelin, Nick Bonino and Phil Kessel who were dominant, turning in 18 points. With 7 goals and 11 assists, this line continues to gain confidence that will certainly carry over into this one against the Lightning.
The Lightning have had a difference in rounds between their lines.
In Round 1 it was all about the first line. Against the Islanders, it was all spread out from the 2nd through 4th lines. Vladislav Namestnikov and Ryan Callahan each contributed a goal while Brian Boyle added two.
Verdict: While it was the depth that won it for the Lightning in the Round against Brooklyn, they still don’t have as much depth as the Pens. Malkin and Crosby had just 1 goal in the 2nd round, which says a lot of the Penguins dominating the Caps. Give the edge here to Pittsburgh.
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Series Defense and Goaltending
Pittsburgh also has plenty of depth here.
They saw both Kris Letang and Olli Maatta sit out Game 4, but it’s always been next man up for this team. Trevor Daley and Brian Dumoulin had a goal and two assists.
Expect this to be the same here against Tampa Bay. They have plenty of options and plenty of scoring threats from the back as well.
Goalie wise, Matt Murray, who is a 21 year old rookie, has stepped up in a big way. This Penguins team wouldn’t even be close to this situation they are currently in.
For the Lightning, their defense really came to life after Game 1. They allowed 5 goals in the Game 1 loss, but just 6 total after as they ran off 4 straight wins.
Victor Hedman leads that group as he had 4 goals and 4 assists. He offers such a threat on both sides of the puck, he almost acts as another forward in the offensive zone.
In net, Ben Bishop continues to be as clutch as possible. He got his 2nd shutout with a Game 5 one and was clutch during the overtime sessions. He will truly be the difference in this series. He cannot allow the Penguins to get any cheap or early goals in games as this is all about momentum.
Verdict: The Pens get the strong edge here. Matt Murray has flourished under the spotlight and this defense is so deep, like their offense, it’s just too tough for the Lightning to over come.
Lightning vs. Penguins Free Series Predictions:
Both goalies have been very impressive this postseason.
However, this one comes down to the Penguins depth. They have so many options both offensively and defensively that they don’t rely on just one guy every night.
This is Pittsburgh’s series to lose and after beating Washington, they have all the momentum in the world.
Pittsburgh Penguins in 6
We’ll be providing 4* free NHL predictions on the blog during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Check out our Experts for guaranteed premium & free NHL Hockey playoff picks!
CappersPicks.com has Stanley Cup odds up on a ton of futures, and you will also find NHL lines up for early games as well.