NHL Odds: Penguins, Lightning Game 7 showdown

By: Adam Markowitz | Tuesday, April 26, 2011

This is what NHL betting fans live for. There's absolutely nothing in the world like playoff hockey, especially when you're talking about a do-or-die Game 7, when one team will survive and one will go home.

After a pair of Game 7's on Tuesday, postseason hockey wagering warriors will get to dive right into another great all-or-nothing showdown between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Pittsburgh Penguins. Sun Sports and CBC will be showing this clash of Eastern Conference titans at 5:00 PT from Consol Energy Arena in the Steel City.

The Penguins know that they are on the ropes after allowing 12 goals over the course of the last two games against the Bolts. Tampa Bay's offense, which had really been lackluster, has suddenly come alive and is ready to rock again in Game 7.

The last visit here to Consol Energy Arena was for Game 5, a game in which Tampa Bay put a snowman on the board in a comfortable win.

The question for the Lightning is whether they can survive another ridiculous shot disadvantage. Tampa Bay is allowing over 36 shots per game in this series, and only averaging a shade over 26 itself. It's almost amazing that the team has put up these dozen goals over the course of the last few days knowing that there have only been a total of 46 shots on Pittsburgh's netminders.

Pittsburgh has outshot the Lightning in all of the meetings this season.

The difference is that Pittsburgh has been in this spot before. This definitely isn't its first rodeo in a Game 7 in recent seasons. Last year, Marc-Andre Fleury was beaten 5-2 in a Game 7 against the Montreal Canadiens at home, something that definitely won't want to be repeated again.

Instead, the hope is that the next most recent Game 7's, wins over the Detroit Red Wings in the Stanley Cup Finals and the Washington Capitals in the Eastern Conference semifinals will prove to be the end result on Wednesday.

For Tampa Bay, the last time that it played a Game 7 was in the 2004 Stanley Cup Finals. In fact, that win against the Calgary Flames was just one of two Game 7's that the Bolts have played in team history. The other came the series before against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Both games resulted in 2-1 Tampa Bay wins, and both came at the St. Pete Times Forum.

If you're betting on the Lightning, you're definitely hoping that the great series for Martin St. Louis and Simon Gagne continue. St. Louis has four goals and four assists in the six games in this series, while Gagne has two goals and is tied for the team lead in assists with Steve Downie with five.

The Penguins don't have a man on their team that has more than three goals or four points in this series. Arron Asham hasn't done much since Game 3, and he leads the team with three goals and four points. Kris Letang and Maxime Talbot also have four points. Tyler Kennedy is the only other man who has more than just one goal in this series.

The winner of this series will either take on the Washington Capitals, Philadelphia Flyers, Boston Bruins or Montreal Canadiens in the second round of the playoffs starting most likely on Friday.

 
 
 
 
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