Pittsburgh Penguins (21-10-4) at Vancouver Canucks (17-15-4)
NHL Hockey: Saturday December 21st 2019 at 10:00 PM EDT (Rogers Arena)
Lines and Odds: Vancouver Canucks -115
FREE NHL PICKS Vancouver Canucks vs Pittsburgh Penguins
Welcome to this Metropolitan vs Pacific Division matchup between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Vancouver Canucks. The Penguins are having another nice season and they are starting to climb the division standings. Pittsburgh is fourth in the Metro, second in goals scored in the division, 7-3 in their last ten games, and have won four games in a row. Pittsburgh is also third in goals against in the Eastern Conference. Jake Guentzel leads the team in scoring with 36 points The Canucks had a good start to their season, but now they are slowing dropping in the Pacific. Vancouver is fifth in the division, almost even in goal differential, and 5-5 in their last ten games. Their scoring has taken a hit, as they have scored one goal in three of their last six games. Elias Pettersson leads the team in scoring with 37 points. The starting goalies for this game are Matt Murray for Pittsburgh and Jacob Markstrom for Vancouver.
The Penguins are coming off of a 5-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers. Pittsburgh was outshot and outhit, but they won the scoring battle. The Pens won the faceoff matchup and they went one for one on the power play. Pittsburgh was good at taking the puck away and taking care of the puck. Pittsburgh had a good first period, things got interesting in the second, and then they finished things off with some goals and defense in the third. During this little winning stretch, the Pens have been a good third period team and really playing awesome defense as well. They have a fair amount of depth scoring and some power play success.
The Canucks are coming off of a 5-4 overtime win over the Vegas Golden Knights. Maybe this win will give them some confidence because the Knights having been playing great and the Canucks needed a much needed divisional game win. Vancouver jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the first period and let things slip away in the second. However, they survived in the third period and managed to get the overtime goal in the end. Markstrom had a nice 39 save effort. The Canucks did very well in faceoffs and blocked a ton of shots. Vancouver has three skaters who do the most damage and they have a better power play than the Penguins do. Look for the Canucks to keep the scoring effort high.
NHL Scores Pittsburgh Penguins vs Vancouver Canucks
So, who will win this east coast vs western Canada matchup? The Penguins are playing great hockey and taking care of the Pacific Division. Three of their last four wins were against the Pacific and two of those games were won by three goals. The scoring has been high and the goaltending has been solid too. However, Murrays goaltending numbers have been high lately, but the team has managed to back it up with some scoring. The Canucks have been in win-loss mode and they need to get a streak going because they are slowly hovering down the division standings. Vancouver hasn’t had consistent scoring and their goaltending has been giving up some high goal totals. Markstrom is coming off a high save game, but his last few starts have been all over the place. Both of these teams have been starting well and it will come down to who has the better third period. The Pens will keep the puck luck going and win 4-3.