Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New York Islanders Free Preview

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Two teams that both took the ice last night, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the New York Islanders face off at the Barclays Center for a divisional matchup. The opening face-off takes place at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, January 5, and it can be watched live on Sportsnet.

Pittsburgh Penguins at New York Islanders Odds

New York is 20-21 straight up (SU) and has lost 1.6 units for moneyline bettors thus far. That early-season winning percentage is right in line with what the team posted during last years regular season (41-41). Of its 41 games this season, 26 have gone over the total, while 11 have gone under and just three have pushed. This year, the team is 12-7 SU at home.

The Islanders have been able to convert on 21.2 percent of their power play chances this season, a figure that’s good enough for ninth-best in the NHL. On the other hand, their penalty kill is ranked 31st overall, and they’ve successfully killed off 73.2 percent of all penalties.

As a team, the Islanders have been penalized just 3.6 times per game overall this season, and 5.2 per game over their past five games. The teams had to defend opposition power plays for a whopping 14.2 minutes per game over their last five outings, overall.

Boasting a .904 save percentage and 28.0 saves per game, Jaroslav Halak (11-14-2) has been the best option in goal for New York this season. If the Isles choose to give him a breather, however, head coach Doug Weight may turn to Thomas Greiss (9-11-11 record, .882 save percentage, 3.89 goals against average).

The Isles will continue seeking leadership via John Tavares and Josh Bailey. Tavares (50 points) has tallied 22 goals and 28 assists and has recorded multiple points on 15 separate occasions this year. Bailey has 12 goals and 38 assists to his name and has recorded a point in 28 games.

On the other side of the rink, Pittsburgh is 20-22 straight up (SU) and has lost 8.0 units for moneyline bettors this year. A total of 21 of its matches have gone over the total, while 18 have gone under and just two have pushed. The Penguins are 8-14 SU as a road team this season.

The Penguins enter the matchup with the second-best power-play unit in the NHL, as they’ve converted on 25.7 percent of their extra-man opportunities in the 2017-18 season. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 13th overall and it’s successfully killed off 81.6 percent of all penalties.

Pittsburgh’s players have been whistled for penalties 4.2 times per game this season, and 3.0 per game over their last five on the road. The teams had to stave off opponent power plays just 7.7 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Matt Murray (25.3 saves per game) has been the primary option in goal for Pittsburgh. Murray owns a 16-14-1 record, and has registered a .902 save percentage and 2.97 goals against average this year.

Phil Kessel (17 goals, 27 assists) has been one of the top playmakers on offense for the visiting Penguins.

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New York Islanders Betting Predictions

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

Betting Trends

  • The majority (65.0 percent) of New York’s wins have come by two or more goals, and the team is 13-13 overall in such games. 8 of Pittsburgh’s 20 wins (40.0 percent) have been decided by two or more goals.
  • The Islanders are 9-11 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 12-15 in games where they’re in the box for fewer than 10 total penalty minutes.
  • New York is 2-1 in games decided by a shootout this season while Pittsburgh is 2-1 in shootouts.
  • The under has hit in three of Pittsburgh’s last five outings.
  • New York has averaged 3.4 goals per game (overall) this season, but is averaging 2.0 goals per matchup over its four-game losing streak.
  • New York skaters have averaged 15.0 giveaways over its last five home games, a rise over its season average of 11.3 giveaways per game (ranked 25th in the league).
  • Pittsburgh has averaged 8.2 giveaways over its last five home games, its season average of 8.6 giveaways per game (the 11th-fewest in the NHL).
  • Pittsburgh skaters have accounted for the fourth-most hits in the league (24.0 per game).