Free NHL Picks: Penguins Will Take Advantage Of Coyotes Losing-Streak

Dana Lane

Monday, February 29, 2016 3:19 PM UTC

Monday, Feb. 29, 2016 3:19 PM UTC

The Penguins are right on the heels of the third playoff spot as they stare at the Coyotes who are starting to think about next season. See how they fair in the NHL odds boards. 

Arizona Coyotes vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
What was once a promising year has turned into a nightmare for the Coyotes. Arizona is in the middle of a five game losing streak and need a miracle to make the playoffs now. 

They are currently three games into a five game road trip. They've dropped the first three by one goal each, results that can unmotivated a team. Connor Murphy said he'd be lying if he said it didn't take a toll on the team.  Shane Doan had already started to reflect on some of the positives of the 2015-16 season. I will not back a team that's already looking for reasons to feel good about losing.   

The trade deadline is today and I expect the 'Yotes to be active especially with Mikkel Boedker likely to be moved.  Pending trades always create a tough environment to play in. Boedker is a top six forward who's numbers will improve on a better team. He definitely appears as if a trade is affecting his play with only one point in five games. Sadly, even if he isn't moved for some reason the Coyotes still need another top six toward. If he is moved they have a bigger hole. 

The Coyotes have identified January 14th against Detroit as the turning point in the season. They were 2-0 in a nine game home stretch and were leading the Wings with nine minutes left only to drop a 3-2 decision. Since, the Coyotes are just 5-12-2 against the NHL odds boards

Pittsburgh can't overlook this game. This is an easy two points with a red-hot Marc-Andre Fleury who is 9-1-1 in his past 11 home starts which is aided by an effective penalty kill unit. The Pens have been perfect in seven of their last nine games and 17 of 20 overall. At the Consol Energy Center the Penguins haven't allowed a power play goal in 12 of their last 14 games, killing 31 of their last 35. Their special teams play has resulted in 10-2-2 home mark in their last 14 games. 


Betting Analysis
Despite a few injuries to their defensive unit the Penguins are extremely deep led by Kris Letang with four points in his last three games. Letang has tremendous lateral movement, most effective when he's paired with Olli Maatta who is not as offensively gifted but is as good defending the zone. You can go all the way down to Ian Cole who is a quality shutdown D-man. Coke is making the most of his minutes due to a few injuries. 

The Arizona Coyotes have shown very little ability to beat the good teams in the league. In their last 60 games against teams with a winning record they have dropped 47.  Pittsburgh is an impressive 46-17 against teams with a road win percentage of less than .400. Arizona is a horrific 21-44 when playing on one day's rest while the home team has won five out of the last seven meetings in this series. My NHL pick is on the Penguins in this one. @DanaLaneSports

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NHL Pick: Pittsburgh -220
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

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