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    09/07/2011 10:47 PM
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    Yesterday - 8:31 AM

NHL Playoffs Odds New York Islanders at Pittsburgh Penguins

The battle for the Stanley Cup begins tonight in the Eastern Conference of the NHL Playoffs. The game is scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on the NBC Sports Network. Currently the odds for the game have the Penguins as a heavy favorite.

Pittsburgh and the Chicago Blackhawks are the top seeds in their respective conferences and many think they will meet up in the Stanley Cup Finals. Certainly fans and the brass at the NHL would love to have that — arguably the two best teams in the league battling it out for the top prize in professional hockey.

Sidney Crosby is expected to be back in the lineup for the Penguins in tonight's game. There's no doubt about his athletic ability and overall prowess on the ice and Evgeni Malkin is getting back to normal after missing several games this season with a shoulder issue.

The Islanders are in their first playoff series since the 2007 post season. John Tavares was just a youngster back then but the Islander captain is looking to shock the world in this series with his young and emerging team.

Marc-Andre Fleury and his wife just had a daughter and he now has to shift his focus onto winning. He's a very good goalie for the Pens and will take them to the next level if he plays well. Evgeni Nabokov helped get the Islanders into the playoffs with his solid goaltending this year but he's going to face a lot of pressure tonight from Pittsburgh.

The Penguins just have too many weapons in this one. They're favored to win the Cup in June and their offensive play is going to be impressive to watch. The price is way too high for tonight's game, but it's hard to not see the Penguins winning this game.

Free Pick: Penguins 3, Islanders 1

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