How valuable is experience in the Stanley Cup Final? The Pittsburgh Penguins have it, and they took advantage of the San Jose Sharks Monday night, grabbing an early 1-0 lead in their series by beating San Jose 3-2 as –130 home favourites. Game 2 takes place Wednesday night in Pittsburgh at 8 PM ET on CBC and NBCSN.
The Penguins, who won their third Stanley Cup in 2009, came into this series as –120 title favourites over San Jose, who brushed aside their long history of playoff futility to make their first-ever Final. Even after Monday’s loss, the Sharks still have the best goal differential during this postseason at 1.11 goals per game, and the most profit against the puck line at +7.65 betting units on a record of 12-7 ATS.
But it was Pittsburgh (9-10 ATS, +5.22 units) that drew first blood in Game 1. After coughing up an early two-goal lead, the Penguins scored the winner late in the third period when Nick Bonino scored his fourth of the playoffs. However, the Pens did lose Bryan Rust to an “upper-body injury” after he was checked in the head by Patrick Marleau. Rust is considered day-to-day for now.