NHL Picks: Penguins vs. Predators to Stay 'Under' Total

David Lawrence

Tuesday, March 4, 2014 1:33 PM UTC

Tuesday, Mar. 4, 2014 1:33 PM UTC

The Pittsburgh Penguins have dealt with more injuries than most teams in the NHL yet they keep on trucking along. Their next stop is in Nashville where the face a Predators team that has been slumping.

The Pittsburgh Penguins Can Win Because…

It’s just not working for Nashville. This is a team that has sorely missed goaltender Pekka Rinne and have not been able to survive without him. They are nine games under .500 are dead last in the Central Division. In recent times, they’ve dropped four of their last five games overall and six of their last 10 at home.

The good news is that he’s back on Tuesday but if you think that he’ll be the savior after a 19-week absence, think again. This is team that’s flawed – particularly on defense. They’ve allowed 3.6 goals per game in their last nine. The Pens lead the East in goals scored. That’s why they’re the better choice here for your NHL picks.

The Nashville Predators Can Win Because….

Rinne is back. We’re talking about the team MVP and the player that this team’s entire strategy is built around. Nashville doesn’t and hasn’t scored a ton of goals ever through the course of their franchise. They play conservative small ball and without a strong goaltender, that won’t work. Rinne stopped 33 of 35 shots in his two AHL conditioning games and he looks like he’s ready to go. He’s got a goals-against average of 2.31 while all of the other scrubs the Preds have used are at 2.80 or higher. He’ll be the difference on the NHL odds in this one.

Outlook & Pick

I’m going to take the under in this one. The Preds will rally around Rinne and keep this a low-scoring affair. As for the Pens, they’ve been held to one goal or less in three of their last five on the road. Take the under with your sports picks.

Pick: Under 5.5 at Bovada


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