NHL Picks Penguins vs. Islanders to go Over

David Lawrence

Thursday, January 23, 2014 12:27 PM GMT

Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014 12:27 PM GMT

The Pittsburgh Penguins got quite a challenge from the New York Islanders in the first round of the 2013 playoffs. Although the Isles are in last place in the Metropolitan Division right now, there’s a good chance they give the Pens all they can handle again on Thursday night.

The Pittsburgh Penguins can win because…

Got back on track on Wednesday with a 5-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens. The Pens had been coming off one of their uglier defeats of the season but quickly turned things around by producing one of their best efforts of the year. They smoked the Habs and quickly regained momentum.

Sure, the Isles have played well recently but most of that has come on the road. At home, they’ve dropped nine of their last 12, so that’s why you should take Pittsburgh with your NHL picks – especially considering you don’t have to lay a lot on the NHL odds.

The New York Islanders can win because…

They’re playing their best hockey of the season. The Isles have won 10 of their last 13 games and are looking like the team we all thought they’d be at the beginning of the season. Goaltender Kevin Poulin has stepped in and played good enough (2.69 GAA in January) while the offense has found its stroke. The Isles are averaging 3.85 goals per game over their last 13, which is why they’ve been so good.

The Pens are in a back-to-back situation and are playing their third game in four nights. That’s sure to slow them down a notch. Also, they have dropped four of their last six road games when the total has been at six while the Isles have three straight at home with a total of six and four of their last five in that scenario.

Read our sportsbook reviews before placing your bets!

Outlook & Pick

Over is the play in this one. The Isles are averaging 3.45 goals per game in January (fourth-most in the NHL) while the Pens are averaging 3.57 (second-most). Both teams are playing well but it’s not because of defense. They’re just lighting the lamp a lot. Take the over with your NHL picks.

Pick: Over 6 at 5Dimes

[gameodds]7/253499/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

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