It won’t be easy.
The first three playoff games between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the New York Islanders have made one thing abundantly clear.
Nothing will come easy.
Last night, the Penguins beat the Islanders 5-4 in the third straight one-goal game of the series. The win gives Pittsburgh a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven matchup heading into Game 4 at 3 p.m. Saturday in New York. That game will be televised nationally on NBC.
And if recent history is any indication, it should be a close one.
In this week’s installment of Penn Sportsbooks’ Pick Play, we’ll get you ready for the rest of the Pens-Islanders playoff series and cover all the betting odds at Pennsylvania’s sportsbooks.
Oddsmakers expect a few less goals in Game 4
More betting lines will be available closer to Game 4’s face off, but for now, DraftKings Sportsbook has a number of them set for Saturday.
The Penguins are a slight underdog at -107, while the Islanders are favored at -109. And following an offensive outburst last night that accounted for nine combined goals, Saturday’s total is nearly half that. The over/under for Game 4 is set at 5.5, with the over priced at +102 and the under at -124.
In other odds, the Penguins are -335 for +1.5. The Islanders number for -1.5 is +245.
DraftKings has a number of other bets available too. There are wagers posted for each period, as well as props on the first/last scorer and anytime scorer as well.
Players can also get a solid return for guessing the exact score, both for each period and the end of the game: And there are even more wagers available beyond that, so players would be wise to explore all their options.
Pens-Islanders will return to Pittsburgh for Game 5
If Pittsburgh finds a way to win Saturday, the Pens will return to PPG Paints Arena with a chance to clinch in Game 5 on Monday night.
That would be the best case scenario for the Penguins, who have rebounded from an overtime loss in Game 1 of the series to take control of it.
That result, belongs in large part to Jeff Carter, who scored two goals last night, and Brandon Tanev, who knocked in the the game winner.
“It’s a resilient group,” said Carter, in an Associated Press article posted on ESPN. “You give one up, you get right back on the horse and get working. A real strong game in that sense from our team, sticking with it, grinding it out and ultimately getting the win.”
Carter has been perhaps the Penguins best player so far this postseason. But Tanev provided the difference last night.
“At the end of the day, we found a way to win and that’s what matters,” Tanev said in the AP article. “The guys came together as a group and we battled through adversity and got the win.”
It’s almost as if the players already know.
A series win won’t be easy.
There’s beauty in the grind for it.
And we’ll see it again Saturday.