2017 Stanley Cup Finals
Locations: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, PA & Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, TN
Stanley Cup Odds: Penguins -130
Stanley Cup TV Coverage: NBC, NBC Sports Network
2017 Stanley Cup Finals Schedule
Game 1: Predators at Penguins, Saturday, May 28, 8 p.m. ET (NBC)
Game 2: Predators at Penguins, Wednesday, May 31, 8 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Game 3: Penguins at Predators, Saturday, June 3, 8 p.m. ET (NBCSN)
Game 4: Penguins at Predators, Monday, June 5, 8 p.m. ET (NBC)
Game 5: Predators at Penguins, Thursday, June 8, 8 p.m. ET (NBC) (If Necessary)
Game 6: Penguins at Predators, Sunday, June 11, 8 p.m. ET (NBC) (If Necessary)
Game 7: Predators at Penguins, Wednesday, June 14, 8 p.m. ET (NBC) (If Necessary)
The Penguins Will Win the Stanley Cup If…
… Matt Murray plays the series of his life. The move Mike Sullivan made to put Murray back in the net in place of Marc-Andre Fleury was a good one. Fleury had really only struggled mightily in one game against Ottawa in Game 3, but Murray was the presumptive starter at the outset of the playoffs before getting hurt in warmups before Game 1 against Columbus. All Murray has done since that point is post a .949 save percentage, including coming up big time and time again in that double-overtime thriller in Game 7 against Ottawa.
We know that Pittsburgh is going to score its goals for sure in this series. You're not going to keep Phil Kessel, Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby quiet forever, and with Chris Kunitz getting back into some form with his two goals in Game 7, he could be a huge threat, too. But it doesn't mean anything if Murray can't figure out how to navigate all of the traffic that Nashville is going to throw its way in front of the net, a problem that every goalie the Preds have faced in this postseason have yet to figure out.
The Predators Will Win the Stanley Cup If…
… They can continue to outwork their opponents in the center of the attacking zone. For all of the talk about the Nashville blue liners on the offensive end of the ice – all fully warranted, by the way – it's the guys in the middle who are really doing the bumping and the grinding.
The Predators have been incredibly physical throughout this postseason, and all of the bodies who aren't afraid to get hit with pucks and set screens in front of opposing net minders is why they continually are scoring goals from the point.
Stanley Cup Finals Free Picks
Nashville has never been here before, and Pekka Rinne doesn't know what it's like to face this type of firepower in a series this big. The one thing we love about the Preds though, is their home ice advantage. They have crushed teams here at Bridgestone Arena, winning 11 of their last 12 in their gym while outscoring teams by 14 goals in the third period along the way.
This is a never-say-die team that has also won three straight Game 1s on the road and has logged five away wins on the postseason. Home ice advantage will be huge throughout, but expect to see Nashville steal one of these first two games at PPG Paints Arena and never give up the home ice advantage after that to win their first Stanley Cup in their history.
Stanley Cup Finals Pick: Predators +110 at BookMaker.eu
Stanley Cup Finals Prediction: Predators in 6