Pittsburgh Penguins at Tampa Bay Lightning Game 6 Betting Lines - Free Pick 5/24/2016
The Pittsburgh Penguins head back to Amalie Arena this Tuesday night in a crucial showdown against the Tampa Bay Lightning to try and keep this best-of-seven series alive. The puck is set to drop at 8 p.m. (ET) in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals and it will be broadcast nationally on NBC Sports Network.
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Pittsburgh's early 2-1 series lead did not hold-up in back-to-back losses by identical 4-3 scores. Game 5 this past Sunday was decided in overtime with the Penguins closing as heavy -187 home favorites. They were also favored on the road (-141) in the one-goal loss in Game 4. The total has now gone OVER in the last three games with six or more goals scored in each contest. Pittsburgh is 4-3 in seven previous road games in the playoffs and the total has gone an even 3-3-1 in those seven games.
Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury started 58 games in the regular season until sidelined by a injury late in the year. He returned to the net as the starter in Game 5 and the rust was pretty obvious with four goals allowed on just 25 shots. Pittsburgh actually had a 2-0 lead early in the second period of that game on goals by Brian Dumoulin and Patric Hornqvist, but a late Tampa Bay goal in the third period sent the game to an extra period. Right winger Phil Kessel has been the team's leading goal scorer in the playoffs with eight but he was shutout on Sunday after tallying a goal in each of his previous three games.
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The Lightning have done an excellent job at lighting the lamp in the postseason and they have now scored three or more goals in eight of their last 10 playoff games. During this run, they have gone 7-3 with the total going OVER or ending as a PUSH in six of those games. Tampa Bay is 6-2 at home in the postseason and the total has gone OVER or ended as a PUSH in six of those eight games.
Nikita Kucherov was the top star in Sunday's key Game 5 victory with the game-tying goal in the third period and an assist on Tyler Johnson's game winner in overtime. He also tied the game at 2-2 in the second period with a goal at the 14-minute mark. Kucherov has now scored 11 goals in 15 playoff games. Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy has started every game in this series and he was able to turn away 31 of the 34 shots he faced in Game 5.
The Penguins are 12-4 in their last 16 road games and they are 19-7 in their last 26 games against a team with a winning record. The total has gone OVER in 17 of their last 26 games against an Atlantic Division team.
The Lightning are 5-1 in their last six games following a win and they are 7-2 in their last nine games against the Metro Division. The total has gone OVER in three of their last four home games against a team with a winning record on the road.
Head-to-head in this matchup, Pittsburgh has lost four of its last five road games against the Lightning and the total has gone OVER in the last five meetings in Tampa Bay.
Pittsburgh Penguins at Tampa Bay Lightning Game 6 Prediction
The floodgates appear to be open with both team's offensive stars playing at a high level. While I think Pittsburgh finds a way to force a Game 7, I am much more confident that the total goes OVER 5.5 in this game.