Islanders vs Penguins NHL Odds, Picks and Predictions May 24

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Updated: May 23, 2021

The Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders are down to a best-of-three after splitting the first four games of their opening-round matchup in the NHL Playoffs.

Pittsburgh had a chance to push New York to the brink of elimination, but the Isles had a dominating win in Game 4. Oddsmakers are backing the Pens to bounce back in this game, opening them as -135 home favorites.

Here are our best free NHL picks and predictions for Islanders vs. Penguins on Monday, May 24, with puck drop set for 7:00 p.m. ET.  

Islanders vs Penguins game info

Location: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, PA
Date: Monday, May 24, 2021
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
TV: SN1, NBCSN, ATTSN-PT, MSG

Islanders vs Penguins odds

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

Compare NHL odds before betting to ensure you get the best number.

The line opened at Pittsburgh -135/New York +115, with the total at 5.5. Early action favored the home Penguins, shifting the spread to -141/+120, while the total remains at 5.5 but is juiced on the Under. Check back later for a full report from Patrick!

Check out the full line movement for this game

Islanders vs Penguins series odds

Islanders: +115
Penguins: -135

Islanders vs Penguins betting preview

Injuries

Islanders: Anders Lee F (Out), Johnny Boychuk D (Out).
Penguins: Casey DeSmith G (Out).
Find our latest NHL injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Penguins are 5-0 in their last five games following a loss of 3+ goals. Find more NHL betting trends for Islanders vs. Penguins.

Moneyline pick

The Islanders went into Saturday’s Game 4 having led for a total of 3:43 through the first three games and were staring at a 3-1 deficit with another loss. Barry Trotz’s group responded with its best performance of the series, dominating the Penguins over the final 40 minutes en route to a 4-1 win.

Aside from the victory, there are a lot of positives New York can take away from this game. The Isles’ top offensive players were more involved in the offense today, as Mathew Barzal, Jordan Eberle, Brock Nelson and Anthony Beauvilier all found the scoresheet. New York is also seemingly in the head of Pittsburgh goalie Tristan Jarry, who has given up four goals in three of the four games this series (despite giving up 4+ goals in just four of his last 23 regular-season games), and it did a great job of drawing penalties, with nine power-play opportunities in the last two games (compared to three for the Penguins in that span).

With that said, there shouldn’t be full panic in Pittsburgh just yet. Considering Evgeni Malkin has only played two games this series (after missing three weeks due to injury) and Sidney Crosby only has a single goal to his name, being tied 2-2 is a pretty solid result for the Pens.

The East No. 1 seed also had positive 5-on-5 metrics from Game 4, with a 60.6 Fenwick For Percentage. It was special teams that let them down Saturday as the Islanders scored twice with the man advantage, effectively ending the game.

The Penguins dropped Game 1 at home, which was just their eighth loss (regulation or overtime) at PPG Paints Arena all season. The Isles showed tremendous fight in tying up the series, but Pittsburgh is also resilient, bouncing back to win its last five straight games following a loss of three goals or more.

The Pens should show better discipline in Game 5 (they only took three penalties in the first two games) and another game with a possession advantage can only lead to good things for Pittsburgh. This has been a tight series so far and we’re going to back the Pens to hold serve at home.  

PREDICTION: Pittsburgh (-141)

Covers NHL betting analysis

Over/Under pick

We mentioned that Crosby has struggled to score this series, but his playoff woes against the Islanders extend back multiple years. Pittsburgh’s superstar has managed just two points over his last eight playoff games against New York, with the 2021 drought being spearheaded by the Islanders’ shutdown line of Casey Cizikas, Cal Clutterbuck and Matt Martin, whose physicality and size has been an issue not just for Crosby but also his linemates Bryan Rust (one goal this series) and Jake Guentzel (one assist).

Also bolstering New York has been the spectacular play of rookie goaltender Ilya Sorokin, who is 2-0 in the series. While veteran Semyon Varlamov struggled this series, going 0-2 with a 3.61 goals-against average, .903 save percentage and -2.1 goals saved above expected (per Moneypuck), the 25-year-old Sorokin has a 1.76 GAA, .944 SV% and 0.5 GSAx.

Jarry has struggled this series, no doubt, but Pittsburgh has been one of the toughest home opponents all season, giving up just 2.17 goals per game on home ice (compared to 3.36 per game on the road), with Jarry’s GAA almost a full goal lower at PPG Paints Arena as well.

In what is now a best-of-three series, expect the checking and defense to tighten up even more and back the Under in Game 5.

PREDICTION: Under 5.5 (-130)

Islanders vs Penguins betting card

  • Pittsburgh ML (-141)
  • Under 5.5 (-130)

Picks made on 5/23/2021 at 12:56 p.m. ET

NHL parlays

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