Two teams matching up for the third time this year, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Columbus Blue Jackets face off at Nationwide Arena in a divisional showdown. Fox Sports Ohio will air the action, which gets going at 6 p.m. ET on Sunday, February 18.
Pittsburgh Penguins at Columbus Blue Jackets Odds
Pittsburgh is 34-26 straight up (SU) and has lost 0.4 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 60 regular season contests, 30 of its games have gone over the total, while 27 have gone under and just two have pushed. As a road team this season, the Pens are 11-18 SU.
Pittsburgh currently touts the second-best power-play unit in the NHL, as it’s found the net on 26.5 percent of its extra-man opportunities this season. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 12th overall, and the teams successfully killed off 82.2 percent of its penalties.
For the team as a whole, the Pens have been penalized 4.1 times per game overall this season, and 3.0 per game over its last five games. The teams been forced to defend opponent power plays just 8.0 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Averaging 26.0 saves per game with a .908 save percentage, Matt Murray (24-15-2) has been the primary option in goal for Pittsburgh this season. Murray did just play last night, however, so the team could decide to rest him and go with Tristan Jarry instead (10-8-2 record, .919 save percentage, 2.44 goals against average).
Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby will both spearhead the attack for the visiting Penguins. Malkin has 69 points via 33 goals and 36 assists, and has recorded two or more points 16 times. Crosby has 19 goals and 47 assists to his credit (and has logged at least one point in 39 games).
On the other side of the rink, Columbus is 29-29 straight up (SU) and has lost 6.6 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 58 regular season outings, 32 of its games have gone under the total, while 25 have gone over and just one has pushed. The team is 17-12 SU at home this season.
The Blue Jackets have converted on just 14.5 percent of their power play chances this year, a figure that places them in the bottom overall among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 27th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 75.7 percent of all penalties.
Blue Jackets skaters have been whistled for penalties only 3.1 times per game in total this season, and 2.4 per game over their last five at home. The team has been forced to defend opponent power plays just 5.9 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Sergei Bobrovsky (28.3 saves per game) has been the top option in goal for the Blue Jackets. Bobrovsky has 24 wins, 23 losses, and five overtime losses and has maintained a .920 save percentage and 2.44 goals against average this season.
Artemi Panarin (15 goals, 31 assists) will pace the attack for the home team.
Pittsburgh Penguins at Columbus Blue Jackets Betting Predictions
Free Pick: SU Winner – Blue Jackets, O/U – Over
- Pittsburgh is 2-2 in games decided by a shootout this season while Columbus is 6-4 in shootouts.
- The over has hit in three of Columbus last five games.
- Two offenses that fire the puck toward the goal a lot, Pittsburgh has registered the leagues fifth-most shots on goal (34.3) while Columbus’s attempted the most (34.9).
- Over Pittsburgh’s last ten games, eight of them have been decided by two or more goals (the team is 7-1 in those games).
- Pittsburgh skaters have accounted for the fifth-most hits in the league (24.5 per game).