When writing the preview for Game 4 of this Pittsburgh Penguins – New York Islanders series, we predicted that Game 5 would be epic. It doesn’t get more dramatic and memorable than a come-from-behind victory with the game-winner coming in double overtime to set up an elimination game on home ice in what could be the last game ever to be played in your historic arena. Hollywood doesn’t write those scripts, but the New York Islanders do. And the Penguins betting crowd will have some opportunities.
Below, take a look at Game 6 of this Round One Stanley Cup Playoffs matchup from a betting perspective in our Islanders vs. Penguins betting preview with odds, picks, and predictions.
Jordan Eberle provided the late dramatics to tie the score. Josh Bailey scored the game-winner in the second overtime to give the Islanders a 3-2 win and a 3-2 series lead over the Penguins heading back to the Nassau Coliseum for Game 6 tonight.
The Islanders have continued to ride the excellent goaltending of Ilya Sorokin, who is 3-0 in this series with a 1.66 goals against average and a .951 save percentage.
The Penguins will need to lean on its experience and veteran chutzpah to stare elimination in the face and defy it to force a Game 7 back in Pittsburgh on Friday night.
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Islanders vs. Penguins Betting Pick (May 26, 2021)
Evgeni Malkin finally scored a goal (we were a game early in that prediction), while Sidney Crosby finally added a second point in this series (we got that one right) in Game 5, but the Penguins offense is truly struggling to get the puck past Sorokin.
The Penguins have just six goals against him in three games (which includes an extra couple of overtimes), and only three in the last two games when Sorokin had time to prepare, knowing he was starting well in advance (he was a sort of last-minute fill-in in Game 1).
If the Penguins are to break through, they need more from their best players. Crosby has just two points. Jake Guentzel has just one, so the Islanders have done a nice job of stifling the Penguins’ top line.
Meanwhile, the Islanders, who are getting great goaltending and solid defense, also have balanced scoring through their lineup. They have eight players with at least three points in five games, led by J.G. Pageau, who has tallied five points.
The Islanders aren’t going to look to do anything different. Their game is their game. Take away time and space. Limit chances. When they make a mistake, they rely on great goaltending and take advantage of their opportunities.
The Penguins need an A+ game tonight. The question is, can they bring it?
Islanders vs. Penguins Game 6 Odds
Here are the Islanders vs. Penguins Game 6 odds at DraftKings Sportsbook:
|Penguins||+1.5 (-286)||-105||O 5.5 (+115)|
|Islanders||-1.5 (+230)||-110||U 5.5 (-139)|
Penguins Bets We Like With a Pittsburgh Win
Jeff Carter OVER 0.5 goals (+260, FanDuel), or OVER 0.5 points (+118, FanDuel)
There’s no doubt, Crosby, Malkin, Guentzel, and even Bryan Rust are more important to the Pittsburgh offense in a winning scenario than Carter, but he has been productive in this series (3-1-4) and has the most value on his odds to register a point or score a goal.
If there’s one thing that we’ve learned about playing the Islanders in the playoffs, teams need depth pieces to score. They take away your best players quite well, and although those better players may ultimately find a way through, secondary scoring is needed to get over the hump. Carter is that center for the Penguins, and if they win tonight, there’s a good chance he’ll be in the mix.
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Islanders Bets We Like With a New York Win
Islanders to win AND UNDER 5.5 goals (+225, DraftKings)
This is the Ilya Sorokin bet. It’s hard to go against a hot goalie, especially one as dialed in as Sorokin right now. That .951 save percentage is no joke in the playoffs, even if it’s only over a three-game sample.
A key here would be the Islanders scoring first, too. If the Islanders get a lead, they are even more difficult to play against, as their defense takes away the higher-scoring areas. Typically, the opposition gets desperate, and fires shots from longer distances that are easier for the goalie to save.
If the Islanders are to win this game and close out the series on home ice, they’re going to trust what’s gotten them the lead – defense and goaltending. That should keep the score low enough to cover the under.
If you want to tease the under up to 6.5 to give you an extra goal, you can, but then your parlay only pays at +170 (DraftKings).
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Bets We Like Independent of Outcome
Islanders to LEAD after the first period (+186, FanDuel)
The Islanders talked about getting off to better starts before Games 4 and 5. They were tied after the first period in both. In fact, they haven’t led after one period yet in this series.
Know what happens when they have this season?
They are 20-2-2 when leading after one. They are 15-0-2 on home ice. When tied, they are 11-5-2 (including 3-0-0 in the playoffs). When trailing, they are 4-12-3 (including 0-2-0 in the playoffs).
Getting that lead after 20 minutes is the one thing that has eluded the Islanders to this point. Get it here, and they’re likely headed to Boston for the Division Finals this weekend.
Islanders vs. Penguins Prediction
All along, we felt this was going to be a seven-game series. And it still could be, but our prediction was based on the Penguins being ahead going into this game, not behind.
The Islanders are a tough team to beat under normal circumstances, but it gets even tougher with your season on the line in their rollicking old arena. The Penguins’ journey unceremoniously ends here.
(And the staff at Pittsburgh Hockey Now will hate our Penguins betting prediction, but here goes):
The Bettor’s Pick: Islanders 3, Penguins 2
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*Anthony SanFilippo, a sports betting expert and gambling writer. The predictions are not from Pittsburgh Hockey Now.