Losing in six of eight regular-season games, New York claimed back-to-back wins over Pittsburgh last weekend and now takes a 3-2 lead in Wednesday night’s contest series at Nassau Coliseum.
The Islanders resumed the series in an entertaining way on Monday, surviving Pittsburgh in double overtime to claim a 3-2 victory. New York also enjoys a historic advantage over the Penguins in the playoffs. The team have dominated Pittsburgh in four of the previous five playoff games and have won wins in seven of their last nine postseason dates. Ready to advance to the second round for the fourth time in as many playoff appearances, the Islanders are now established as -280 favorites on NHL playoff prize betting sites.
Still reeling from Monday’s marathon loss, Pittsburgh has struggled to generate a consistent offense in this series, scoring two goals or less in three of the last four games. The Penguins have avoided losing three in a row this season, but with just one win in their last eight road playoff games, the team dropped to a +230 bet to bounce back and bring down the Islanders in this series.
Later Wednesday evening, the Tampa Bay Lightning will look to close their first-round game with Florida as they host the Panthers with -150 chalk. Wednesday’s schedule then ends in Minnesota, where the Wild will look to force a tie-breaker Game 7 with Vegas as they face the Golden Knights as home losers +115.
The Panthers avoided elimination on Monday with a decisive 4-1 victory to reduce Tampa Bay’s lead to 3-2. Florida have won the series of the season with their interstate rivals, posting wins in five of eight games. However, despite scoring four goals per game while winning three of six total road dates with Tampa Bay, the Panthers remain +310 losers to overtake the reigning Stanley Cup champions in the first round.
The Wild avoided elimination with a 4-2 victory at Vegas in Game 5, but were edged out by a wide 12-4 margin while losing three straight home games to the Golden Knights, who are heading to match 6 with road bets -135. favorites.