Find out what this NHL handicapper is recommending for tonight's competitive match, as the Penguins face a very tough Boston Bruins team. They'll put a lot of pressure on Tuukka in order to avoid a 3-game losing streak.
Ice time is scheduled for 7:00 pm ET tonight at TD Garden Arena in Boston, Massachusetts. This game can be seen on the NBCSN network.
5 Dimes Sportsbook lists the Penguins as a -125 betting favorite on the road despite their two game losing streak and the total for the game is listed at 5.5 goals +121.
Although 1st string goalies usually start, the first thing that we always do when betting on a hockey game is to go to a site that lists the starting goalies for the daily matchups.
Although unconfirmed at this point. Tuukka Rask will be in net for the Bruins and he'll be opposed by Marc-Andre Fleury for the Penguins. Rask has been very stingy as of late with a 6-2 record in his last 8 games and allowing just a 1.89 goals against average.
To take it a step further, Rask has dominated the Penguins in the past, going 6-1 with a .956 save percentage with the playoffs included. Marc-Andre Fleury, who got to rest in a Pittsburgh loss to the Islanders, has been equally as good in net. He's 8-1-1 in his last 10 games, allowing just 1.76 goals against and he's 5-2-2 against the Bruins while allowing 2.27 goals against the Bruins.
What you have hear is a "dead heat." This game appears to be a defensive battle, but Pittsburgh, who ranks 1st in the NHL in goals and 1st on the power play with an amazing 33.3% might have something to say about it.
Sid the Kid
He's starting to outgrow the kid label, but Sidney Crosby has lived up to the hype ever since putting on a Pittsburgh Penguins sweater.
This season, he leads the Penguins in points with 26 points in 19 games. Surprisingly, teammate Patric Hornqvist is the leader on the Penguins in goals, but Crosby makes this team run, making players on his line better than they actually are and has been clutch during crucial situations.
The Penguins last two games have been tough for everyone on the team including Crosby, who has been held scoreless. Crosby hasn't been much of a factor with just 1 shot on goal in 2 games. Tonight's game against Rask will be a tough challenge for the best player in the game.
Center, Evgeni Malkin, was the only player on the Penguins team to tally a goal against the New York Islanders and he's been playing well all season. In his last 4 games, Malkin has 6 points and he's another key center on this Penguins squad with a storied career.
An important note to make before placing you NHL pick here: Right-winger Patric Hornqvist, has had an assist in each of his last 4 games. Hornqvist leads the Pens in goals (10) and has only seen the penalty box for 6 minutes this season thus far.
I concentrated on the Penguins for most of this piece as the Bruins are more of a defensive-oriented team that relies on the goaltending of Tuukka Rask. The Bruins average 2.5 goals per game and defenseman, Dougie Hamilton, will play a huge part in this game. Hamilton will see a ton of ice-time as he averages over 22 minutes per game.
Centers Patrice Bergeron (5 goals, 11 assists) and Carl Soderberg (5 goals, 9 assists) are the names that you'll be hearing a lot in this game as they'll focus on putting constant pressure on Fluery.
Although Pittsburgh has the weapons, Boston has Tuukka Rask and I'll take a great goaltender anytime; especially when the Pens have been slumping lately.
Free NHL Pick: Boston +110 at 5Dimes