NHL Picks: Play Red-Hot Penguins +104 vs. Canucks

David Lawrence

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 11:51 AM GMT

Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015 11:51 AM GMT

The Vancouver Canucks have turned things around and gotten their season back on track as winners of three of their last four games. Can they stay hot on Wednesday? Check our NHL pick inside.

Momentum
Vancouver had won three of their first four games to open the season but they followed that up with four straight losses. However, they have bounced back by winning three of their last four. All six of the Canucks’ losses have been by exactly one goal including four overtime defeats, so they have been close. They are heating up again and should feel confident heading into this game following a 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers.

Meanwhile, the Penguins have certainly gotten their season on track as well as winners of four straight and seven of their last eight overall. Pittsburgh has the potential to score goals in bunches but they have also proven they can play a tighter defensive game as well as they have conceded an NHL-low 1.8 goals allowed per game so far this season.

 

Projected Starting Goalies
A big part of the Penguins’ defensive improvement can be attributed to the club buying in to playing a more consistent two-way game in order to avoid the defensive lapses that ultimately cost them in past playoffs. Goalkeeper Marc-Andre Fleury certainly deserves some credit as well as he is 6-4-0 with a 1.71 goals against average, .942 save percentage and two shutouts. Pittsburgh will need Fleury to perform at a high level in order to make another Stanley Cup run and he has certainly looked good early on this season.

Meanwhile, Ryan Miller has also been excellent early on at 5-2-4 with a 2.06 GAA and .927 save percentage. The Canucks will continue to ride Miller as their workhorse goaltender all season. He has certainly been one of the biggest reasons for their early success as one of the league’s better goaltenders so far this season.
 

***More NHL Free Picks for Tonight's Blues vs. Blackhawks Game HERE***

Outlook
The Penguins have cashed three straight times on the NHL odds on the road while outscoring their opponents by a 9-2 margin. They continue a four-game trip that takes them across Canada in Vancouver on Wednesday and they could be overdue for a letdown. The Canucks found another level in a 5-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens that ended their perfect start to the season. While they suffered an overtime loss to the Dallas Stars in their next game, they have won back-to-back contests since and appear to have found some secondary scoring with Alex Burrows, Jannik Hansen, Jake Virtanen and Bo Horvat stepping up of late. The Sedins will continue to lead Vancouver’s attack but if they can get some help up front and if Miller can continue to perform at an elite level, then the Canucks could return to the playoffs as a team with a legitimate chance to make some noise.

In this particular spot, though, the Penguins are the better play for your NHL picks. Sure, they’re on the road and on the opposite coast but when you take a closer look at Vancouver’s numbers, they have just two home wins in seven contests. They’ve been more effective on the road (4-0-1). Meanwhile, Pittsburgh is just rolling right now, entering on a four-game winning streak and as winners in seven of their last eight. Take them in this spot.

NHL Pick: Penguins +104 at Pinnacle

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