Saturday, 10:00 PM ET
Free NHL Pick: Golden Knights ML
Best Line Offered: Bovada
The Knights should be ready to roll having had three full days between games before they welcome the Penguins to the T-Mobile Arena. However, they will be rebounding off of a losing effort in Winnipeg where they fell to the Jets 4-1 on Tuesday night. But the outcome could have been very different had it not been for the dazzling goaltending of Winnipeg’s backup netminder Laurent Brossoit. The Knights pelted Brossoit with 26 shots in the second period alone and when the dust settled, Vegas had tallied 43 shots but just one goal, courtesy of Brandon Pirri.
After winning seven straight, the Knights have dropped two of their last three and will be looking for payback against the Pens from a 4-2 loss they suffered on October 11th in Pittsburgh. Rugged winger Alex Touch has been the Knights’ saving grace this season, leading the team in points (37), goals (15), and assists (22).
However, in order for Vegas to reach their dizzying heights from last season when they fell to the Capitals in the Stanley Cup Finals, they will need more production from their offense. Vegas currently ranks 15th in the league in goals scored, averaging 2.98 goals per game but their defense has been among the best with Marc-Andre Fleury getting the lion’s share of the starts over backup Malcolm Subban. Fleury had only 22 saves in his latest outing but his offense was stymied on the other end by Winnipeg’s Brossoit.
The Penguins had put together an eight-game winning streak before they ran into the Blackhawks on January 6th where they dropped a 5-3 decision. After that, the team rallied for a pair of wins over the Panthers and Ducks but then fell to Los Angeles and San Jose. Pittsburgh has been platooning Casey DeSmith and Matt Murray between the pipes and both have been solid but not spectacular. The NHL odds on this game are reflecting the Knights as fairly substantial favorites and that is due in large part to Pittsburgh’s back-to-back contests.
The Knights should be fresh and ready to roll against a Penguins’ squad that could still be laboring after their tilt with the Coyotes in the desert. Let’s also not forget that this is the final game of a five-game road trip for the Pens and playing a Golden Knights’ team that is 15-4-3 at home. We expect to see Casey DeSmith in net for Pittsburgh on Saturday night but whomever tends the twine for the Penguins will get plenty of work from a Vegas offense that seems to be getting plenty of shots on net lately. Include Vegas in your NHL picks.
Final Score: Knights 4, Penguins 2