Two teams that’ve combined to serve more than 21 penalty minutes a game, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Anaheim Ducks face off at the Honda Center in an East-West matchup. The match gets started at 10 p.m. ET on Wednesday, January 17, and it can be viewed live on NBC Sports Network.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Anaheim Ducks Odds
With a -115 moneyline, Anaheim enters the game as the slight favorite. The line for Pittsburgh sits at -105, and the oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at 6 goals (-105 for the over, -115 for the under). Those lines have moved after initially opening at -110 for either.
Pittsburgh is 24-22 straight up (SU) and has lost 5.4 units for moneyline bettors thus far. Through 46 regular season outings, 23 of its games have gone over the total, while 21 have gone under and just two have pushed. The Pens are 9-14 SU as a road team in 2017-18.
Pittsburgh enters the match up with the second-best power-play unit in the NHL, as it’s converted on 26.5 percent of its extra-man chances this season. Additionally, it has the ninth-best penalty kill in the league, and the teams successfully killed off 82.6 percent of its penalties.
The Pens, as a collective unit, have been penalized 4.2 times per game overall this season, and 3.2 per game over its last five road outings. The teams been forced to kill penalties just 7.6 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Averaging 24.7 saves per game with a .903 save percentage, Matt Murray (17-14-1) has been the best option in goal for Pittsburgh this season. If head coach Mike Sullivan chooses to rest him, however, Pittsburgh might turn to Tristan Jarry (10-7-2), who has a .923 save percentage and 2.33 goals against average this year.
Phil Kessel and Sidney Crosby will both lead the way for the visiting Penguins. Kessel (52 points) is up to 20 goals and 32 assists, and has recorded two or more points 12 times. Crosby has 17 goals and 30 assists to his creditand has registered a point in 27 games.
On the other side of the rink, Anaheim is 20-25 straight up (SU) and has lost 3.1 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 45 regular season outings, 29 of its games have gone under the total, while 15 have gone over and just one has pushed. It’s 10-11 SU at home this year.
The Ducks have converted on just 17.2 percent of their power play chances this season, a mark that places them in the bottom 10 overall among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked sixth overall, and it’s successfully killed off 83.8 percent of all penalties.
Anaheim players have been penalized 4.7 times per game in total this season, and 3.4 per game over their last five at home. The team has been forced to kill penalties a whopping 15.6 minutes per game over their last five outings.
John Gibson has stopped 29.9 shots per game as the top option in goal for the Ducks. Gibson has 14 wins, 20 losses, and six overtime losses to his credit and has recorded a .923 save percentage and 2.63 goals against average this year.
The home team offense will be led by Rickard Rakell (15 goals, 17 assists).
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Anaheim Ducks Free Picks
Predictions: SU Winner – Penguins, O/U – Over
- Over Anaheim’s last ten outings, six of them have been decided by two or more goals (the team is 4-2 in those games).
- Pittsburgh has averaged 2.9 goals per game overall this season, but has upped it to 4.8 per contest over the teams four-game winning streak.
- The Penguins are 11-10 SU in games where they serve more penalty minutes than their opponent while the Ducks are 15-12 SU when they spend more time in the box than the opposition.
- Anaheim is 2-5 in games decided by a shootout this season while Pittsburgh is 2-1 in shootouts.
- The total has gone under in four of Anaheim’s last five outings.
- Anaheim skaters have averaged 14.8 giveaways over its last five home games, a rise over its season average of 10.0 giveaways per game (ranked 19th in the NHL).
- Pittsburgh skaters have averaged 8.3 giveaways per game (ranked ninth).
- This game features two of the tougher teams in the league. Pittsburgh skaters have dished out the leagues fourth-most hits per game (24.3) and the Ducks have handed the seventh-most (23.5).