The Weigh In
The Penguins host the Hurricanes on Tuesday at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with the opening face-off slated for 7:05 PM ET. According to NHL betting odds the Penguins are a -215 money line home favorite and the posted total is 5.5. Pittsburgh has won their last 6 at home versus Carolina, and has won the last 5 overall between these teams. The Penguins have already clinched the Metropolitan Division, and are 2nd overall in the Eastern Conference. Carolina is 7th in the Metropolitan and 13th overall in the East.
Playing out the String
Carolina is coming off a 2-1 overtime shootout loss at Ottawa last night. They've gone a miserable 15-37 in their last 52 versus the money line when playing with no rest. The Hurricanes have now gone under in 7 of their last 8-games overall. This will also be their 3rd game in the last 4-days, and they've gone under the total in the last 4 when playing in that exact situation. With the loss last night, the Hurricanes are now 15-22 versus the money line on the road this season. Carolina hasn't officially been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, but for all intent and purposes it would take nothing short of a miracle at this point in order for them to qualify for the postseason.
Attempting to Stay Focused
Like I alluded to earlier in this article, the Penguins have already clinched their division crown. They enter tonight 9-points behind the Boston Bruins for 1st overall in the Eastern Conference, and with just 7 regular season games left for both clubs, barring a monumental collapse by the Bruins the Penguins are pretty much locked into the 2nd spot. The Penguins enter tonight on a modest 2-game winning streak, and last played in a 4-1 home win over Chicago on Sunday. Pittsburgh has failed to go over the total in their last 5-games. The Penguins are an outstanding 32-9 versus the money line this season, versus teams that allow the opposition to convert on 17.5% or better on the power play. The Penguins are 2nd in the NHL on the power play with a 23.2% success rate. Following tonight's game the Penguins will head out on a 3-game in 4-day Western road trip which will begin on Thursday at Winnipeg.
Both of these teams have been playing on the low side in their most recent histories. There's no sense in getting cute in a spot where the game is pretty much meaningless. Let's stay with what's working for our hockey picks.
Hockey Pick: Carolina/Pittsburgh to go under the total of 5.5