Detroit Red Wings vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Matchup Preview

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In their second head-to-head meeting of the regular season, the Detroit Red Wings and the Pittsburgh Penguins meet at PPG Paints Arena for an Eastern Conference tilt. This one gets started at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday, January 13 and it can be watched live on Sportsnet.

Detroit Red Wings vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Odds

Losing -7.4 units for moneyline bettors, Pittsburgh is 22-22 straight up (SU) overall this year. That early-season winning percentage is a big slide from what the team managed during the 2016-17 season (50-32). Of the teams 44 games this season, 22 have gone over the total, while 20 have gone under and just two have pushed. The team is 13-8 SU at home this season.

The Penguins enter the matchup with the strongest power-play unit in the NHL, as the team has converted on 26.6 percent of their extra-man chances this year. On the other hand, their penalty kill is ranked 10th overall, and they’ve successfully killed off 82.4 percent of all penalties.

As a team, the Penguins have been called for penalties 4.2 times per game overall this season, and 2.6 per game over their past five match ups. The teams had to stave off opposition power plays for just 7.9 minutes per game over their last 10 matchups, in total.

Averaging 24.7 saves per game with a .903 save percentage, Matt Murray (17 wins, 14 losses, and one OT loss) has been the primary goalkeeper for the Pens this year. If Pittsburgh decides to give him the day off, however, head coach Mike Sullivan may turn to Tristan Jarry (8-7-7 record, .919 save percentage, 2.46 goals against average).

Phil Kessel and Sidney Crosby will each lead the offensive attack for the Penguins. Kessel (47 points) has produced 18 goals and 29 assists and has recorded multiple points in 10 different games this year. Crosby has 15 goals and 28 assists to his credit and has notched at least one point in 25 games.

Over on the other bench, Detroit is 17-24 straight up (SU) and has lost 6.7 units for moneyline bettors this year. A total of 21 of its contests have gone under the total, while 20 have gone over and none have pushed. As the away team so far, the Red Wings are 7-11 SU.

The Red Wings have converted on 19.8 percent of their power play opportunities this year, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 14th overall and it’s successfully defended 81.4 percent of all opponent power plays.

Detroit’s skaters have been called for penalties 3.8 times per game this season, and 2.4 per game over their last five on the road. The team has had to stave off opponent power plays just 5.8 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Jimmy Howard (26.7 saves per game) has been the primary option in the net for Detroit. Howard has 14 wins, 20 losses, and six OT losses to his credit, and has registered a .916 save percentage and 2.64 goals against average this year.

For the visiting Red Wings, the offense will be facilitated through Dylan Larkin (six goals, 28 assists) and Henrik Zetterberg (six goals, 23 assists).

Detroit Red Wings at Pittsburgh Penguins Betting Predictions

Predictions: SU Winner – Penguins, O/U – Over

Betting Trends

  • The majority (70.6 percent) of Detroit’s wins have come by two or more goals, and the team is 12-13 overall in games decided by at least two scores. 9 of Pittsburgh’s wins (40.9 percent) have been decided by two or more goals.
  • The Red Wings are 5-10 in games where they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 11-17 when they’re in the box for fewer than 10 total penalty minutes.
  • Detroit is 3-1 in games decided by a shootout this season while Pittsburgh is 2-1 in shootouts.
  • Pittsburgh has averaged 8.8 giveaways over its last five home games, its season average of 8.5 giveaways per game (the 9th-fewest in the NHL).
  • Detroit skaters have averaged 9.2 giveaways over its last five home games, an improvement from its season average of 11.3 giveaways per game (ranked 24th in the NHL).
  • The Pens this season have registered the fifth-most hits in the league (24.0 per game), but the club has averaged 31.6 over their past five games as the home team.