A couple of teams that have put themselves squarely in the playoff picture, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Calgary Flames meet at the Scotiabank Saddledome. AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh will broadcast this cross-continent matchup, and the puck drops at 9 p.m. ET on Tuesday, December 17.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Calgary Flames Odds
Pittsburgh is 19-14 straight up (SU) and has earned 0.8 units for moneyline bettors this year. 17 of its matches have gone under the total, while 15 have gone over and just one has pushed. The Pens are 5-8 SU on the road in 2019-20.
Pittsburgh has converted on 16.8 percent of its power play chances this year, a figure that’s right around league average. Its penalty kill is ranked 15th in the league, and it’s successfully killed off 81.8 percent of all penalties.
Pittsburgh, as a collective unit, has been called for penalties just 3.1 times per game overall during the 2019-20 season, and 4.2 per game over its last five on the road. The team has had to kill penalties just 6.5 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Averaging 24.0 saves per game with a .897 save percentage, Matt Murray (11-10-4) has been the best option in goal for Pittsburgh this season. If it decides to rest him, however, the team might go with Tristan Jarry (9-5 record, .937 save percentage, 1.92 goals against average).
Jake Guentzel and Evgeni Malkin will both look to continue their strong seasons for the visiting Penguins. Guentzel has 36 points on 17 goals and 19 assists, and has recorded multiple points in seven different games. Malkin has eight goals and 19 assists to his name (and has logged a point in 14 games).
On the other bench, Calgary is 18-17 straight up (SU) and has lost 1.6 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 35 regular season matches, 20 of its games have gone under the total, while 12 have gone over and just three have pushed. It’s 10-6 SU at home this season.
Calgary has converted on 17.4 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 10th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 83.8 percent of all penalties.
The Flames have been penalized 4.0 times per game this season, and 3.3 per game over their last ten games. The team’s been forced to kill penalties just 7.7 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
David Rittich has stopped 29.0 shots per game as the primary selection in goal for Calgary. Rittich has 15 wins, 12 losses, and four OT losses and has maintained a pedestrian 2.73 goals against average and a .914 save percentage this season.
The home team offense will be led by Sean Monahan (10 goals, 18 assists).
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Calgary Flames Free Picks
Pick: SU Winner – Penguins, O/U – Over
For both of these teams, the total has gone over in three of their past five matchups.
Pittsburgh’s attempted 33.8 shots per game overall this season (the second-most in the NHL), and 32.0 in its last 10 outings.
Penalties and power plays may prove to be extremely important tonight. The Penguins are 10-7 in games where they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 13-12 when they serve fewer than 10 total penalty minutes. The Flames are 8-6 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 13-11 in games where they’re in the box for less than 10 minutes.
Calgary is 3-0 in games decided by a shootout this season while Pittsburgh is 2-0 in shootouts.
One of the best teams when it comes to creating pressure on their opponents, Calgary is ranked 5th in the NHL this season with 8.7 takeaways per game. That figure has trended upward lately, as the team has averaged 9.8 takeaways over its last 10 games and 10.8 takeaways over its last five.
Pittsburgh skaters have averaged 8.4 takeaways per game over its last five road games, its season average of 7.7 takeaways per game (ranked 13th overall).