Last Updated: 2017-12-07
A game between two teams that’ve positioned themselves firmly in playoff contention, the New York Islanders and the Pittsburgh Penguins clash at PPG Paints Arena in a divisional showdown. The game gets started at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, December 7 and it’s being shown live on Sportsnet.
New York Islanders at Pittsburgh Penguins Odds
New York (+125) is currently the underdog to Pittsburgh (-145). The Over/Under (O/U), set at 7 goals, originally opened at -115 for the under and -105 for the over. Those odds have moved, however, and they now sit at -120 for the under, +100 for the over.
New York is 16-11 straight up (SU) and has earned 5.3 units for moneyline bettors this season. Through 27 regular season matches, 18 of its games have gone over the total, while eight have gone under and just one has pushed. As a road team this season, the Isles are 8-8 SU.
New York has converted on 21.7 percent of its power play opportunities this year, a mark that’s good enough for ninth-best in the NHL. Its penalty kill is ranked 30th overall, and it has successfully killed off only 75.0 percent of all penalties.
For the team as a whole, the Isles have been called for penalties just 3.7 times per game overall this season, and 4.4 per game over its last five road outings. The team has been forced to kill penalties just 7.4 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Averaging 29.0 saves per game with a .890 save percentage, Thomas Greiss (8-6-2) has been the best option in goal for New York this season. If it decides to rest him, however, New York could roll with Jaroslav Halak (8-7 record, .905 save percentage, 2.92 goals against average).
Josh Bailey and John Tavares will both look to continue their strong seasons for the visiting Islanders. Bailey has 31 points on five goals and 26 assists, and has recorded two or more points 10 times. Tavares has 17 goals and 14 assists to his credit (and has logged a point in 15 games).
On the other side of the rink, Pittsburgh is 15-14 straight up (SU) and has lost 2.9 units for moneyline bettors this year. 16 of its matches have gone over the total, while 12 have gone under and just one has pushed. This year, the team is 9-4 SU at home.
The Penguins have converted on 25.7 percent of their power play opportunities this season, a mark that’s good enough for fourth-best in the NHL. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 19th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 78.8 percent of all opponent power plays.
Pittsburgh skaters have been called for penalties 4.7 times per game in total this season, and 4.0 per game over their last five home outings. The team’s been forced to defend opponent power plays 8.7 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Matt Murray has denied 26.6 shots per game as the top selection in goal for the Penguins. Murray has 12 wins, nine losses, and one OT loss and has maintained a pedestrian 2.95 goals against average and a fairly-weak .906 save percentage this year.
Phil Kessel (13 goals, 21 assists) will pace the offensive counter for the Pens.
New York Islanders vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Betting Predictions
Predictions: SU Winner – Penguins, O/U – Over
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The over has hit in three of Pittsburgh’s last five games.
New York has managed 30.6 shot attempts per game over its last five road games while Pittsburgh is averaging 40.8 shots per game over its last five at home.
Five of Pittsburgh’s last ten contests have been decided by two or more goals. The team is 4-1 overall in those games.
The Penguins this season have handed the eighth-most hits per game (23.4), but the team’s averaged 26.4 over their past five games as the home team.