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Penguins vs. Senators Game 6 Picks

Hockey Betting Lines

When the Pittsburgh Penguins were beaten 5-1 by the Ottawa Senators in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Sidney Crosby reminded reporters that the loss counted exactly the same as a double-overtime loss. Fortunately for the Sens, they can say the same thing about the 7-0 drubbing they took on Sunday afternoon in Pittsburgh. Now, these two teams turn around and do it all over again on Tuesday night back in Ottawa, and this could be the game that sends Pittsburgh to a second straight Stanley Cup Finals.

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Ottawa Senators Game 6
Date and Time
: Tuesday, May 23, 2017, 8 p.m. ET
Location: Canadian Tire Centre, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
NHL Playoff Odds: Penguins -145, O/U 5.5
Penguins vs. Senators Game 6 TV Coverage: NBC Sports Network

There's not a lot you can say good about Game 5 of this series for the Senators. They hadn't really put up that massive stinker at any point over the course of the playoffs, and they picked a really bad time for one on Sunday.

Craig Anderson was peppered in the first period of Game 5, facing 14 shots in just 18:32 before getting yanked after allowing his fourth goal of the game. Mike Condon isn't a threat to take the job from Anderson, especially after he allowed three goals on 19 shots the rest of the way.

Just remember that it was a game just like this one that helped the Penguins turn the corner. The goalie switch from Marc-Andre Fleury back to Matt Murray seems to have paid off, as Murray has been fabulous in his two starts, including a 25-save shutout in Game 5.

What's even better for the defending champs is that virtually everyone got in on the act on Sunday. Seven different players scored the seven goals, and only three men, Evgeni Malkin, Carter Rowney and Nick Bonino, logged multiple assists.

Key Stat

17 – The number of blocked shots the Penguins had on Sunday afternoon.

Ottawa ended up caring a lot more about its physical game (53 hits) than its offensive game (17 blocked shots on 25 attempts), and that has to be a big concern. Also concerning is the fact that the Sens really didn't show a lot of heart in the third period after falling behind 5-0. There were a bunch of hits, but there wasn't that one man who stepped up and picked a fight to try to swing some momentum or send a message going into Game 6. That's not really captain Erik Karlsson's game, and there wasn't anyone else who stepped up. It was the first time Ottawa really looked intimidated by Pittsburgh in this series, and that could be bad news going forward.

Penguins vs. Senators Game 6 Free Picks

Karlsson just looked like he was dead on the ice from the get go on Sunday. In fairness, he's played just a slew of minutes for the Senators over the course of this postseason. Karlsson isn't injured, but he's definitely playing with plenty of bumps and bruises that are starting to seem cumulative.

Karlsson only played 12:36 on Sunday, easily his shortest day at the office in this postseason. Will he come back rested and fired up on Tuesday night, or is he flat out finished?

Recent history suggests that Ottawa has a shot at this comeback. The team was down 3-0 to Montreal in the 2015 playoffs the last time it was in the second season, and it rallied for a couple wins before finally succumbing. Will there be a white flag waived on Tuesday? We don't think so.

The Penguins might have put seven goals on the board on Sunday, and they might be looking more and more like a Cup team once again, but we still think they're overstated. Ottawa is the right choice, particularly as a huge home underdog in a game where its season hangs in the balance.

Penguins vs. Senators Game 6 Pick: Ottawa +130 at
Penguins vs. Senators Game 6 Score Prediction: Senators 2, Penguins 1