Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Florida Panthers Free Preview

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In their third and final head-to-head meeting of the regular season, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Florida Panthers collide at the BB&T Center in an Eastern Conference matchup. AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh will showcase the action, which gets going at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, February 24.

Pittsburgh Penguins at Florida Panthers Odds

Pittsburgh is 36-26 straight up (SU) and has earned 1.7 units for moneyline bettors this season. 32 of its games have gone over the total, while 27 have gone under and just two have pushed. As an away team this season, the Pens are 13-18 SU.

Pittsburgh enters the match up with the first-best power-play unit in the NHL, as it’s scored on 26.9 percent of its extra-man opportunities this season. On the other hand, it has the seventh-best penalty kill in the league, and it has successfully killed off 82.5 percent of its penalties.

For the team as a whole, Pittsburgh has been penalized 4.1 times per game overall in the 2017-18 season, and 2.6 per game over its last five contests. The team has had to kill penalties just 6.8 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

With a .909 save percentage and 26.0 saves per game, Matt Murray (25-15-2) has been the best option in goal for Pittsburgh this season. Murray played last night, however, so Pittsburgh could opt to rest him and instead turn to Tristan Jarry (11-8-2 record, .921 save percentage, 2.41 goals against average).

Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel will both spearhead the attack for the visiting Penguins. Malkin (73 points) is up to 34 goals and 39 assists, and has recorded two or more points in 17 different games. Kessel has 26 goals and 43 assists to his credit, and has registered a point in 42 games.

On the other bench, Florida is 27-31 straight up (SU) and has lost 3.6 units for moneyline bettors this year. 31 of its contests have gone over the total, while 27 have gone under and none have pushed. The team is 14-12 SU at home this year.

Florida has converted on 19.8 percent of its power play chances this season, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 22nd overall, and it’s successfully killed off 79.3 percent of all opponent power plays.

Florida skaters have been sent to the penalty box 4.4 times per game in total this season, 4.8 per game over their past five contests total, and 4.2 per game over their last five home outings. The team has been forced to kill penalties 11.4 minutes per contest over their last five home games.

James Reimer (27.9 saves per game) has been the primary netminder in goal for Florida. Reimer has 15 wins, 20 losses, and five overtime losses to his name and has registered a mediocre 3.22 goals against average and a poor .905 save percentage this season.

The Panthers offense will be led by Aleksander Barkov (20 goals, 35 assists).

Pittsburgh Penguins at Florida Panthers Betting Picks

Free Pick: SU Winner – Penguins, O/U – Over

Betting Notes

  • The over has hit in three of Florida’s last five outings.
  • This game features two clubs that fire the puck toward the goal a lot. Pittsburgh has registered the leagues fifth-most shots on goal (34.1) while Florida has attempted the fourth-most (34.6).
  • Power plays and penalty kills may prove to be key tonight. The Penguins are 18-9 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 22-17 in games where they’re in the penalty box for fewer than 10 minutes, total. The Panthers are 9-15 when the team serves fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 11-18 in games where total penalty minutes are in the single digits.
  • Florida is 2-3 in games decided by a shootout this season while Pittsburgh is 2-2 in shootouts.
  • Florida has managed 11.4 takeaways per game over its last five home games, an improvement over its season average of 8.6 takeaways per game (ranked 7th in the league).
  • Pittsburgh has scored 3.2 goals per game overall this year, but is scoring 4.8 per match up in their last six games (the teams a perfect 6-0 SU over that span),
  • Pittsburgh is ranked 18th in the NHL with 7.0 takeaways per game. That figure has trended higher, as it has managed 9.6 takeaways over its last 10 games and 11.6 takeaways over its last five.