Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New York Islanders Free Preview

The Barclays Center is the site for a divisional clash as the Pittsburgh Penguins take on the New York Islanders. It’s the fourth and final time that the two clubs will meet in the regular season. The matchup gets underway at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 20, and you’ll be able to view it live on Sportsnet.

Pittsburgh Penguins at New York Islanders Odds

Pittsburgh is 41-31 straight up (SU) and has earned 0.1 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 72 regular season contests, 40 of its games have gone over the total, while 30 have gone under and just two have pushed. As an away team in 2017-18, the Pens are 15-22 SU.

Pittsburgh currently has the first-best power-play unit in the NHL, as it’s converted on 25.8 percent of its extra-man opportunities this year. Additionally, its penalty kill is ranked 17th overall, and it has successfully killed off 80.3 percent of its penalties.

For the team as a whole, the Pens have been whistled for penalties 4.0 times per game this season, and 3.2 per game over its last five games. The team’s been forced to kill penalties just 8.6 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Averaging 25.7 saves per game with a .909 save percentage, Matt Murray (25-16-2) has been the top option in goal for Pittsburgh this year. If Pittsburgh chooses to rest him, however, the team could roll with Tristan Jarry (15-11-2 record, .908 save percentage, 2.77 goals against average).

The visiting Penguins have relied on Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel this year. Malkin has 89 points via 40 goals and 49 assists, and has recorded two or more points in 23 different games. Kessel has 29 goals and 50 assists to his credit (and has logged a point in 49 games).

On the other bench, New York is 30-42 straight up (SU) and has lost 12.3 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 72 regular season outings, 44 of its games have gone over the total, while 25 have gone under and just three have pushed. The team’s 16-18 SU at home this year.

The Islanders have converted on 21.8 percent of their power play chances this year, a mark that places it in the top-10 among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 31st overall, and it’s successfully killed off 74.9 percent of all opponent power plays.

Islanders players have been penalized only 3.4 times per game in total this season, and 4.8 per game over their last five match ups. The team’s had to kill penalties a whopping 14.6 minutes per game over their last five outings.

Jaroslav Halak has stopped 29.7 shots per game as the primary option in goal for the Islanders. Halak has 18 wins, 32 losses, and six overtime losses to his name and has recorded a mediocre 3.28 goals against average and a poor .906 save percentage this year.

The home team offense will be led by Mathew Barzal (19 goals, 54 assists) and John Tavares (32 goals, 41 assists).

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New York Islanders Betting Picks

Free Pick: SU Winner – Islanders, O/U – Under

Betting Trends

  • Five of New York’s last ten contests have been decided by two or more goals. The club is 1-4 overall in those games.
  • Penalties and power plays could prove to be even more critical than usual tonight. The Penguins are 20-11 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 26-20 in games where they serve fewer than 10 total penalty minutes. The Islanders are 11-22 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 19-32 when total penalty minutes are in the single digits.
  • New York is 3-3 in games decided by a shootout this season while Pittsburgh is 2-2 in shootouts.
  • The over has hit in four of New York’s last five games.
  • New York has allowed 3.6 goals per game overall this season, but has given up 5.7 goals per matchup on its three-game losing skid.
  • New York skaters have averaged 13.6 giveaways over its last five home games, a rise over its season average of 11.2 giveaways per game (ranked 27th overall).
  • Pittsburgh is ranked 13th this season with 8.8 giveaways per game. That figure has trended upward lately, as it’s averaged 11.5 giveaways over its last 10 games and 12.0 giveaways over its last five.
  • This game features two of the tougher defenses in the league. Pittsburgh skaters have given out the league’s sixth-most hits per game (24.0) while the Isles have recorded the 11th-most (22.6).