Pittsburgh Penguins at St. Louis Blues Free Preview

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

A game that features two teams that have put themselves firmly in the playoff picture, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the St. Louis Blues collide at the Scottrade Center in an East-West showdown. The matchup will get started at 0 ET on Sunday, February 11, and you’ll be able to see the game live on NBC.

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. St. Louis Blues Odds

St. Louis (-120) is currently favored over Pittsburgh (+100), and the oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at 6 goals (-120 to bet the over, +100 for the under). The Blues are 34-23 straight up (SU) and have earned 4.5 units for moneyline bettors this year. That winning percentage, ranked fifth in the NHL so far this season, is fairly close to what the team produced during the 2016-17 season (46-36). Of its 57 regular season outings, 34 have gone under the total, while 23 have gone over and none have pushed. The teams 19-11 SU at home this year. St. Louis has converted on just 16.2 percent of its power play chances this season, a mark that places the team in the bottom-5 overall among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 15th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 81.4 percent of all penalties. St. Louis, as a collective unit, has been penalized just 3.5 times per game overall this season, 4.0 per game over its past five matchups total, and 3.4 per game over its last five at home. The team has had to kill penalties for just 8.4 minutes per game over its last 10 matchups, in total. Averaging 25.7 saves per game with a .909 save percentage, Jake Allen (19-20-2) has been the primary goalkeeper for the Blues this season. If they decide to give him a breather, however, the team could go with Carter Hutton (16-9-9 record, .944 save percentage, 1.70 goals against average). Brayden Schenn and Vladimir Tarasenko will each be focal points for the Blues. Schenn (53 points) has tallied 23 goals and 30 assists and has recorded two or more points on 13 separate occasions this year. Tarasenko has 23 goals and 26 assists to his credit and has notched a point in 31 games. Pittsburgh is 30-26 straight up (SU) and has lost 3.4 units for bettors taking the moneyline this year. Through 56 regular season outings, 29 of its games have gone over the total, while 25 have gone under and just two have pushed. Pittsburgh’s 10-18 SU as a road team this season. Pittsburgh enters the matchup with the second-strongest power-play unit in the NHL, as it’s found the net on 26.6 percent of its extra-man advantages in 2017-18. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked sixth overall and it’s successfully killed off 82.8 percent of all opponent power plays. Pittsburgh’s skaters have been penalized 4.2 times per game in total this season, 4.2 per game over their last five games total, and 4.0 per game over their last five on the road. The teams been forced to defend opponent power plays 8.7 minutes per game over their last 10 outings. Matt Murray (.903 save percentage and 2.96 goals against average) has been the primary option in goal for Pittsburgh. Murray is averaging 25.4 saves per game and owns a 20-15-2 record. Phil Kessel (24 goals, 41 assists) has been one of the primary offensive playmakers for the visiting Penguins.

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. St. Louis Blues Free Picks

Prediction: SU Winner – Blues, O/U – Over

Betting Trends

  • The total has gone over in three of St. Louis’ last five games.
  • This game features two clubs that fire the puck on goal a lot. Pittsburgh has registered the leagues second-most shots on goal (34.4) and St. Louis’s attempted the ninth-most (33.3).
  • Penalties and power plays could be extremely important in this game. The Penguins are 16-9 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 16-17 in games where they’re in the penalty box for fewer than 10 total minutes. The Blues are 16-7 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 24-15 in games where they’re in the box for less than 10 minutes.
  • St. Louis is 3-0 in games decided by a shootout this season while Pittsburgh is 2-2 in shootouts.
  • St. Louis has created 9.4 takeaways per game over its last five home games, an improvement over its season average of 7.9 takeaways per game (ranked 12th).
  • Pittsburgh skaters have created 4.2 takeaways per game over its last five road games, a drop-off from its season average of 6.5 takeaways per game (ranked 23rd).