Now, they wait. The Pittsburgh Penguins clinched the East Division with a win over Buffalo Saturday and Washington’s overtime loss to Philadelphia.
The Capitals and Penguins could still end with the same number of points (77) and regulation wins (29), but Pittsburgh has the edge in the second tiebreaker (regulation plus overtime wins), regardless of what happens in Washington’s final game Tuesday.
As noted in a tweet from the NHL Monday night, the Penguins will face the New York Islanders in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. A date for that matchup has not yet been determined.
Stanley Cup playoffs start Saturday, buy Penguins tickets soon
Due to some postponements caused by the coronavirus, the NHL’s regular season will not end until May 19. However, according to a tweet from sports anchor Chris Harris, the Stanley Cup playoffs will start on Saturday with Washington and Boston.
When the Pittsburgh-New York series begins, the Penguins will have home ice advantage. Playoff tickets for the Penguins’ first two home games will go on sale Wednesday at 12 p.m. Purchases can be made at Ticketmaster.
Game lines and odds for the Penguins-Islanders playoff series should be available soon at Pennsylvania sportsbooks. PlayPennsylvania will bring you all the latest odds when they’re available.
In addition to the East, the Central and West Divisions are set to complete their regular seasons by May 13. The North Division will end next Wednesday (May 19) with a game between Vancouver and Calgary.
Once the entire playoff bracket is set, Stanley Cup futures should be available at sportsbooks and PA online betting apps.
As of Tuesday, the Penguins are seventh in Stanley Cup odds at +1400 at DraftKings Sportsbook. Colorado Avalanche (+450), Las Vegas Golden Knights (+550), and Carolina Hurricanes (+650) are the three favorites for now.
Pittsburgh Penguins own longest playoff streak in major sports leagues
The Penguins have reached the playoffs for the 15th consecutive season, which is the longest active streak in the four major North American sports leagues. The Dodgers own the record for the MLB (8). The Raptors and Trailblazers are tied for the NBA record (7) and the Chiefs (6) are the leaders in the NFL.
As noted in a graphic by NHL Stats, the Penguins have had some recent success against the Islanders, with a 6-2-0 record in head-to-head matchups this season. Pittsburgh has accumulated 12 points in the season series compared with 6 for New York. The Penguins also own a 25-19 edge in goals.
Other playoff matchups that have already been set include Carolina (-240 to win the series at DraftKings) and Nashville (+190 to win the series), along with Washington-Boston and Florida-Tampa Bay.
The Penguins will soon get their turn as well. And their first game will be at home in Pittsburgh’s PPG Paints Arena, where attendance is limited to 25% of the fans for Round 1 of the playoffs.
That number could change if the Penguins advance further. But all that remains in the future.
For now, they wait.
Lead image credit: AP Photo/Nick Wass