Here are The Game Day’s Penguins vs Islanders prediction and bets for the 2021 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs in our Pittsburgh-New York Round 1 series preview.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs New York Islanders Prediction: 2021 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Round 1 Bet Picks Preview
Penguins vs Islanders Schedule
Game 1: at Pittsburgh, Sunday, May 16 at noon ET
Game 2: at Pittsburgh, Tuesday, May 18 at 7:30 p.m. ET
Game 3: at New York, Thursday, May 20 at 7 p.m. ET
Game 4: at New York, Saturday, May 22 at 3 p.m. ET
Game 5*: at Pittsburgh, Monday, May 24, time TBD
Game 6*: at New York, Wednesday, May 26, time TBD (TV TBD)
Game 7*: at Pittsburgh, Friday, May 28, time TBD (TV TBD)
* If necessary
Pittsburgh Penguins Season Recap
The Pittsburgh Penguins, one of the best teams in the league, have found themselves as a No. 1 seed in the stacked East Division. The Penguins wound up with 77 points in the standings, tying the Washington Capitals, but wound up holding the tiebreaker for the first seed.
Sidney Crosby continued to do Sidney Crosby things in the 2020-2021 season, leading the team with 62 points, 24 of them being goals. Crosby was not alone with Jake Guentzel posting 57 points on the year while not even ranking in the top three in average ice time for Pittsburgh — an impressive feat. 25-year-old goalie Tristan Jarry wound up with an absurd 1,000 saves exactly on the season, remarkable for how short this season was. The Penguins are a solid team from top to bottom and present an enormous challenge for the Islanders.
New York Islanders Season Recap
The New York Islanders have become very relevant in recent seasons, notching consecutive winning seasons. The Islanders’ team is not built like the Penguins’ roster in the way that it is multi-faceted and that the Islanders receive production from all their lines with no Sidney Crosby-caliber player to speak of.
No player on the Islanders notched 50 points this season, although center Mathew Barzal came close with 45. Center Josh Bailey was second on the team with 35 points, a far cry from Barzal’s total. Islanders goalie Semyon Varlamov was excellent this season, posting a .929 save percentage on the year. However, he is injured heading into the series with his status in doubt.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs New York Islanders Matchup
For being a one-seed and a four-seed matchup, this one should wind up being pretty tight and evenly-matched throughout. There is a strong chance we see the Penguins and Islanders go six or seven games.
The Penguins are the better team here, though, and their goal differential showed it in comparison to the Islanders. Pittsburgh wound up with a solid +40 and the Islanders held a +28. They were only separated by six points in the standings, though, which is nothing to speak of.
The Penguins and Islanders are very different teams in terms of roster construction and it will be interesting to see what brand of hockey takes over this series on the ice. This will be the second time in three seasons that the Islanders and Penguins will face off in the playoffs — the last time they matched up, the Penguins got swept.
This matchup will depend on the health of one of the league’s top goalies in Islanders’ Semyon Varlamov and the return of Penguins’ Evgeni Malkin.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs New York Islanders Prediction & Bet Pick
Penguins vs Islanders Series Prediction
Pittsburgh Penguins in 6 games
Penguins vs Islanders Bet Pick
Pittsburgh Penguins to win series (-145) at BetMGM
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Penguins vs Islanders Bet Pick Analysis
While this series should be close, I strongly feel it will be one that the Penguins remain in total control of if they can scratch together any offense against the premier goaltending of the New York Islanders. Sidney Crosby has been here before and while he has a history of underperforming against the Islanders, this will be the series he breaks through in. Back the PENGUINS (-145) in this classic on the ice.