Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Carolina Hurricanes Matchup Preview

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Two clubs that are facing each other for the fourth and final time this season, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Carolina Hurricanes collide at PNC Arena in a divisional showdown. AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh will showcase the matchup, and the puck drops at 7:30 p.m. ET on Friday, February 23.

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Carolina Hurricanes Odds

Pittsburgh (-120) is currently the favorite over Carolina (+100) and the Over/Under (O/U) is set at 6 goals. The line for betting that total stands at -120 for the over and +100 for the under.

Pittsburgh is 35-26 straight up (SU) and has earned moneyline bettors 1.7 units this year. Through 61 regular season outings, 32 of its games have gone over the total, while 27 have gone under and just two have pushed. This 2017-18 Penguins team is 12-18 SU on the road.

Pittsburgh enters the match up with the first-best power-play unit in the NHL, as it’s scored on 26.5 percent of its extra-man opportunities this year. Its penalty kill is ranked seventh overall, and it’s successfully killed off 82.4 percent of its penalties.

For the team as a whole, the Pens have been sent to the penalty box 4.1 times per game this season, and 2.6 per game over its past five contests. The team’s had to kill penalties just 7.4 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 top option in goal for Pittsburgh this season. If it decides to give him a rest, however, Pittsburgh might go with Tristan Jarry (11-8-2 record, .921 save percentage, 2.41 goals against average).

Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel will both lead the way for the visiting Penguins. Malkin (70 points) has tallied 33 goals and 37 assists, and has recorded two or more points in 17 different games. Kessel has 24 goals and 42 assists to his credit (and has notched at least one point in 42 games).

On the other bench, Carolina is 27-33 straight up (SU) and has lost 10.8 units for moneyline bettors this year. 33 of its matches have gone under the total, while 25 have gone over and just two have pushed. It’s 15-16 SU at home this year.

The Hurricanes have converted on just 18.9 percent of their power play opportunities this season, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 19th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 79.7 percent of all penalties.

Carolina players have been called for penalties only 2.8 times per game in total this season, 2.6 per game over their last five contests total, and 3.0 per game over their last five home outings. The team’s had to kill penalties just 6.2 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Cam Ward (25.3 saves per game) has been the primary netminder in goal for the Hurricanes. Ward has 17 wins, 14 losses, and four OT losses to his name and has maintained a .911 save percentage and 2.59 goals against average this year.

Teuvo Teravainen (14 goals, 32 assists) and Sebastian Aho (21 goals, 25 assists) will pace the attack for the Canes.

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Carolina Hurricanes Betting Predictions

Pick: SU Winner – Hurricanes, O/U – Over

Betting Notes

  • Pittsburgh is 2-2 in games decided by a shootout this season while Carolina is 3-3 in shootouts.
  • The total has gone under in three of Carolina’s last five games.
  • This game features two clubs that put the puck on goal a lot. Pittsburgh has attempted the league’s sixth-most shots on goal (34.1) while Carolina has attempted the fourth-most (34.4). The Pens have averaged 26.2 shot attempts over their last five road games and the Canes have taken 39.2 shots over their last five home outings.
  • Carolina has averaged 2.7 goals per game this year, but is averaging 1.3 goals per contest over its three-game losing skid.
  • Eight of Pittsburgh’s last ten games have been decided by two goals or more. The team is 7-1 in those games.
  • Pittsburgh skaters have accounted for the fifth-most hits in the league (24.4 per game), but that number’s down to just 21.2 hits over their last five away games.