In their first head-to-head meeting of the regular season, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the expansion franchise Vegas Golden Knights collide at T-Mobile Arena in an East-West matchup. Sportsnet will air the matchup, and the action gets underway at 10 p.m. ET on Thursday, December 14.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Vegas Golden Knights Odds
The money line for either team is currently set at an identical -110 and the Over/Under (O/U) is set at an even 6 goals (-115 for the over, -105 for the under).
Earning 11.9 units for moneyline bettors, the Golden Knights are 19-11 straight up (SU) overall this year. Of its 30 games this season, 19 have gone over the total, while nine have gone under and just two have pushed. The teams 11-3 SU at home this year.
Vegas has converted on 19.2 percent of its power play opportunities this year, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 18th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 80.0 percent of all penalties.
Vegas, as a collective unit, has been penalized just 3.5 times per game overall this season, and 2.6 per game over its last five home outings. The team has had to kill penalties for just 7.0 minutes per game over its last 10 matchups, overall.
Averaging 23.9 saves per game with a .872 save percentage, Maxime Lagace (7-7-1) has been the primary option in goal for the Golden Knights this season. If the Knights choose to rest him, however, head coach Gerard Gallant may turn to Malcolm Subban (8-2-2 record, .924 save percentage, 2.33 goals against average).
William Karlsson and Jonathan Marchessault will both lead the charge for the Golden Knights. Karlsson (26 points) is up to 15 goals and 11 assists and has recorded two or more points on eight different occasions this year. Marchessault has 10 goals and 16 assists to his credit and has notched a point in 14 contests.
Pittsburgh is 16-16 straight up (SU) and has lost 5.3 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 32 regular season outings, 18 of its games have gone over the total, while 13 have gone under and just one has pushed. Pittsburgh’s 6-10 SU as the visiting team this season.
Pittsburgh currently touts the third-strongest power-play unit in the NHL, as it’s scored on 26.3 percent of its extra-man chances in 2017-18. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 18th overall and it’s successfully killed off 80.3 percent of all penalties.
Pittsburgh’s players have been whistled for penalties 4.5 times per game in total this season, and 3.4 per game over their past five contests. The team has been forced to defend opponent power plays just 7.7 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Matt Murray (26.6 saves per game) has been the primary option in goal for Pittsburgh. Murray has 12 wins, nine losses, and one overtime loss to his credit, and has registered a .906 save percentage and 2.95 goals against average this year.
Phil Kessel (15 goals, 22 assists) will pace the offensive attack for the visiting Penguins.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Vegas Golden Knights Free Picks
Predictions: SU Winner – Penguins, O/U – Over
- Pittsburgh has managed 26.4 shot attempts per game over its last five road games while Vegas is averaging 35.8 shots per game over its last five home outings.
- Penalties and power plays may prove to be critical in tonight’s game. The Penguins are 9-5 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 8-9 in games where they serve fewer than 10 total penalty minutes. The Golden Knights are 8-4 when the team serves fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 11-8 in games where they’re in the box for less than 10 minutes.
- Vegas has averaged 15.6 takeaways per game over its last five home games, an improvement over its season average of 11.3 takeaways per game (ranked 2nd in the NHL).
- Pittsburgh is ranked 23rd in the NHL with 6.3 takeaways per game. That figure has trended upward, as it has averaged 8.1 takeaways over its last 10 games and 8.4 takeaways over its last five.