Two teams facing each other for the first time this season, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Vancouver Canucks face off at Rogers Arena in an East-West showdown. The first puck will drop at 10 p.m. ET on Saturday, November 4, and you can watch the game live on CBC Sports.
Pittsburgh Penguins at Vancouver Canucks Odds
Pittsburgh (-145) is currently the favorite over Vancouver (+125), and the oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at 6 goals (-120 to bet the over, +100 for the under).
Pittsburgh is 8-7 straight up (SU) and has earned moneyline bettors 0.1 units this year. Eight of its outings have gone over the total, while seven have gone under and none have pushed. This 2017-18 Penguins team is 4-6 SU on the road.
Pittsburgh has converted on 29.1 percent of its power play chances this year, a figure that’s good enough for fourth-best in the NHL. Additionally, its penalty kill is ranked 16th overall, and the team’s successfully killed off 80.6 percent of its penalties.
For the team as a whole, the Pens have been penalized 5.2 times per game during the 2017-18 season, a number that has regressed noticeably from last year’s 3.9 penalties per game. After serving an average of 9.3 penalty minutes per game a year ago, the team’s had to stave off opponent power plays for a taxing 13.9 minutes per matchup this season.
Sporting a .908 save percentage and 27.1 saves per game, Matt Murray (8-4-1) has been the top option in goal for Pittsburgh this year. If Pittsburgh chooses to rest him, however, they could go with Antti Niemi (0-3), who has a .797 save percentage and 7.49 goals against average this year.
Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel will both lead the offensive attack for the visiting Penguins. Malkin (15 points) has tallied six goals and nine assists, and has recorded two or more points three times. Kessel has four goals and 11 assists to his name (and has logged at least one point in 11 games).
Over on the other bench, Vancouver is 6-6 straight up (SU) and has earned 2.1 units for moneyline bettors this year. Seven of its outings have gone under the total, while five have gone over and none have pushed. It’s 2-5 SU as the home team this year.
The Canucks have converted on just 14.8 percent of their power play chances this season, a mark that places them in the bottom 10 overall among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked eighth overall, and it’s successfully killed off 84.1 percent of all penalties.
Canucks skaters have been sent to the penalty box 4.3 times per game this season. Last year, that number was at 3.2, the fourth-lowest mark in the NHL. After serving an average of 7.9 penalty minutes per game a season ago the team has been forced to kill penalties for a noteworthy 12.2 minutes per matchup this year.
Jacob Markstrom has denied 24.2 shots per game as the top netminder in goal for the Canucks. Markstrom has three wins, six losses, and two overtime losses to his name and has maintained a 2.25 goals against average and a .916 save percentage this season.
The home team will be led on offense by Brock Boeser (two goals, seven assists).
Pittsburgh Penguins at Vancouver Canucks Free Picks
Predictions: SU Winner – Canucks, O/U – Over
- After going 4-2 in games decided by a shootout last year, the Canucks are off to a 0-1 start in shootouts this season. Pittsburgh went 4-5 in shootouts last year and has yet to participate in one this time around.
- The under has hit in four of Vancouver’s last five games.
- After averaging 32.4 shot attempts as a team last season (the second-most in the league), Pittsburgh’s attempted 35.4 shots per contest overall this season, and 35.9 in its last 10 games.
- Pittsburgh skaters have accounted for the 12th-most hits in the league (22.5 per game).