NHL Picks: Penguins vs. Maple Leafs Betting Preview

Ross Benjamin

Saturday, October 26, 2013 1:31 PM GMT

The Toronto Maple Leafs will host the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Air Canada Centre with faceoff scheduled for 7:05 PM ET.

NHL Preview

Saturday 10/26/2013

Pittsburgh Penguins (7-3) @ Toronto (7-4)

According to NHL betting odds the Penguins are a -120 money line road favorite and the posted total is 5.5. These two teams have seen 19 of their last 26 meetings go over the total.

Fleury to the Rescue

The Penguins come off a 4-3 home loss to the New York Islanders last night. The loss was their 2nd in a row with both occurring at home. Rookie Jeff Zatkoff made his 2nd career start in the NHL for the Penguins in last night’s loss. Zatkoff is now 0-2 this season with a large 5.06 GAA, and a horrible .818 save percentage. Despite the loss the Penguins outshot the Islanders 42-25. As a matter of fact in their current 2-game losing streak the Penguins have outshot their opponents by a combined 74-39. Marc-Andre Fleury will be back in goal tonight for Pittsburgh. Fleury is off to a terrific start to the season going 7-1 with a 1.74 GAA, and a solid .930 save percentage. Sidney Crosby scored his 8th goal of the season in last night’s loss. Crosby leads the NHL in scoring with 18-points. Pittsburgh has seen 12 of their last 15 games go over the total when playing with no rest. Pittsburgh is just 4-14 over the last 3 seasons following a home loss.

Check out David Lawrence's NHL Picks of the Day~

The Leafs Need to get back on Track

Toronto bolted out to a 6-1 start to the season but has dropped 3 of their last 4-games. The latest lost came last night 5-2 at Columbus. The game was tied 1-1 entering the 3rd period before Columbus seized control scoring 4-times. Phil Kessel scored his 6th and David Bolland tallied his 4th in the loss. Jonathan Bernier was in goal for Toronto and stopped 31 of 35 shots. The final goal by Columbus was an empty netter while Bernier was pulled for an extra attacker. With all considered, Bernier has been a nice offseason acquisition for Toronto. In his 9-starts this season the former Los Angeles Kings backup has a respectable 2.35 GAA and a very good .930 save percentage. The Toronto special teams have been outstanding so far this season ranking 5th in the NHL on the power play (26.6%), and 6th in penalty killing (86.4%). 

Pittsburgh Injury Report

[LW] 10/25/2013 - James Neal out at least another week ( Upper Body )

[RW] 10/25/2013 - Beau Bennett "?" Saturday vs. Toronto ( Lower Body )

[RW] 10/02/2013 - Matt D'Agostini out indefinitely ( Lower Body )

[GO] 10/02/2013 - Tomas Vokoun out 3-6 months ( Blood Clot )

 

Toronto Injury Report

[LW] 10/25/2013 - Joffrey Lupul "?" Saturday vs. Pittsburgh ( Foot )

[LW] 10/05/2013 - Nikolai Kulemin out indefinitely ( Ankle )

[D] 10/04/2013 - Mark Fraser out indefinitely ( Knee )

 

Final Analysis 

Despite playing last night the Penguins are a very well rested team. Last night’s game was their first since last Monday with both coming at home. The Leafs have had trouble with up tempo teams over the last 3 seasons. During that time frame Toronto is just 18-40 versus opponents averaging 29.5 or more shots on goal per game. During that same time frame the Leafs are a miserable 6-17 at home after losing 2 of their previous 3-games.

What is going on with the Islanders and Flyers~

[gameodds]7/246263/?r-1=349-19-43-192/us[/gameodds]

NHL Super System

Any money line road favorite that’s playing just their 2nd game in the last 5-days and has a winning percentage of .600 to .700, versus an opponent with a winning record is 43-14 (75.4%) over the last five seasons.

Free Pick: Pittsburgh -120 over Toronto