New York Islanders (13-10-3) at Pittsburgh Penguins (11-10-5)
NHL: Thursday, December 6th, 2018 at 7:00 pm (PPG Paints Arena)
Line and Odds: Pittsburgh Penguins -200/New York Islanders +170 Over/Under: 6.5
Free NHL Pick Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New York Islanders
The New York Islanders are hoping to stay ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Metropolitan Division. They are currently 3rd in the division with a 13-10-3 record and 29 points. The Islanders had a 5 game win streak earlier in the season, but they’ve been unable to keep up that high level of play. New York has gone 5-6-1 in their last 12 games and 1-2-1 in their last 4 games. Their most recent result was a 3-1 home loss against the Winnipeg Jets. The Isles had a slim 1-0 lead heading into the 3rd period, but lost it pretty quickly. They gave up 2 goals in 22 seconds and never saw the lead again. In 3 of their last 5 games, New York has only managed to score 1 goal each. Coach Barry Trotz needs to find a way to get the offense going if his team plans on making a playoff run. The New York Islanders’ offense has been a problem all season. The Islanders are tied for 21st in the NHL in goals, scoring 77 times. They are 19th in even-strength goals scored with 60. One positive for the offense is that New York does have a high shooting percentage of 10.4% which ranks 10th in the league. However, they rank 31st out of 31 teams in terms of shots on goal with just 732. They’ve also struggled in all aspects of their power play. New York has scored 12 power play goals this season which ranks 28th in the NHL. They’re tied for 25th in power play opportunities with 80 chances. The Islanders are 28th in power play percentage, scoring on just 15.00% of their power play opportunities. LW Anders Lee leads the Islanders with 10 goals, while C Mathew Barzal leads in assists with 18. In total, RW Josh Bailey leads the team in points with 22. New York is a team that’s led by their defense. They rank 7th in terms of goals against, allowing 75 goals this season. The Islanders are tied for 4th best in the NHL in even-strength goals against, allowing 54 goals in even strength situations. They are 6th in power play opportunities against with 82. When they do have allow their opponent to get a power play chance, they struggle to stop them defensively. They have a penalty killing percentage of 78.05%, which ranks 19th in the league.
It looks like the Pittsburgh Penguins have recovered from a 10 game stretch early in the season that saw them notch 1 win and 9 losses. In that time span, the Penguins went just 1-7-2. That rough patch was kicked off by 2 losses to the New York Islanders. They suffered a 6-3 home loss at the hands of the Islanders and then a 3-2 shootout loss at New York. In their last 7 games, they’ve played to a respectable record of 4-2-1. Their most recent game was a 6-3 win over the Colorado Avalanche. Pittsburgh jumped to a 3-0 lead in the 1st period. Colorado answered Pittsburgh’s run with a 3-0 run in the 2nd period to tie it up at 3-3 heading into the 3rd. RW Patric Hornqvist scored a hat trick in the 3rd period to seal the 6-3 win. Hornqvist scored 3 goals in 2:47, which is the fastest hat trick in Pittsburgh Penguins’ history. Pittsburgh is 6th in the Metropolitan Division with a 11-10-5 record and 27 points. They are just 5-6-2 at home, which will need to improve in order to move up the division standings. Offensively, the Penguins are fairly strong. They have scored 89 times, which ranks them 10th in the NHL in goals. Pittsburgh has scored 71 even strength goals which is good for 6th in the league. They are 9th in shooting percentage, scoring on 10.5% of their shots. The Pens are 8th in power play percentage, scoring goals on 24.66% of their power play opportunities. The problem for Pittsburgh is that they rarely get those opportunities. They’ve only had 73 power play chances, which ranks them tied for 29th in the NHL. If they could create more power play chances, their offensive efficiency would improve greatly. C Evgeni Malkin leads the Penguins with 22 while C Sidney Crosby leads in goals with 14. Defensively, the Pens are slightly below average. They are 19th in goals against, allowing 87 goals this season. Pittsburgh is also 19th in even-strength goals against, giving up 65 goals in even strength situations. Pittsburgh is 18th in the NHL with a save percentage of .900. However, Pittsburgh has a strong power play defense. They are 6th in penalty killing percentage, killing the opponent’s power play 82.67% of the time. The Penguins also rank 2nd in power play opportunities given up. The power play isn’t much of an advantage against the Pens.
Cover The Spread 365 Betting Trends
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of NY Islanders’s last 5 games
NY Islanders is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 4 of NY Islanders’s last 5 games when playing on the road against Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh is 5-12 SU in its last 17 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Pittsburgh’s last 5 games when playing NY Islanders
Pittsburgh is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games when playing at home against NY Islanders
Free NHL Prediction New York Islanders vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
I like the New York Islanders on the money line. In the 2018-2019 season, these teams have been pretty even. The Isles are slightly ahead of Pittsburgh in the standings, and they’ve beaten them twice already. New York’s defense matches up well against the Penguins offense. If Pittsburgh could create power play opportunities, the Isles defense could be had. However, the Pens struggle to create those power play chances and the Isles don’t allow them. I give the Islanders a solid chance of breaking out of their scoring slump against Pittsburgh. I agree with Pittsburgh being favored at home, but I think the number is just too big. I’m taking the value of Islanders +170.