NHL FREE PICKS
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NHL Picks: May 9
Monday’s four-game slate features three underdogs leading their respective series two games to one, and one juggernaut looking to put a team out of their misery. Avoiding the giant that is the Avalanche, will be heading to Pittsburgh for this pick where the Penguins play host to the New York Rangers.
The Pens, who were decimated by key injuries in game 1 to forward Rickard Rakell, defenceman Brian Dumoulin and then starting goaltender Casey DeSmith have reclaimed home-ice advantage with a 7-4 win on Saturday night. Third-stringer Louis Domingue has done just enough, after being thrust into action midway through Game 1’s triple-overtime marathon win.
Pittsburgh, who has vastly dominated the series from an underlying metric standpoint, finally got rewarded with an outburst of goals in game 3. Although some of these goals may have seemed fluky, it’s a testament to their constant pressure finally being rewarded. They trail the Avalanche only in XGoals per 60 minutes (Expected goals) according to MoneyPuck.com. The really interesting part, the Rangers rank 15th out of 16. Like the majority of the season, likely Vezina trophy winner and potential Hart trophy candidate Igor Shesterkin has been a big reason why this series hasn’t looked as lopsided as it could be. His franchise-best 79 save losing performance in Game 1 appeared to catch up to him Saturday night, and may have a lingering effect on the remainder of the series. Shesterkin was pulled after a lacklustre 1st period where he surrendered 4 quick goals, a few of which a sharp Igor would most likely want back.
PPG Paints Arena was rocking Saturday night and I expect a similar atmosphere Monday night, given Pittsburgh’s domination in every underlying metric. Finally getting to Shesterkin I will be taking the Pens as a short home underdog.
Pick: Penguins +100 (Bet MGM)
Other Games Worth Betting:
Avalanche -1.5 (+105 Bet 365) - Connor Ingram, David Rittich, it doesn’t matter who’s attempting to shut down this behemoth, I think the party ends tomorrow night for the Preds. Even with the uncertainty for Colorado in goal (Darcy Kuemper injury), I think Pavel Francouz will be able to hold down the fort just fine for this game.
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