Penguins to Extend Winning Streak in Lone Visit to Anaheim

ducks penguins

Matthew Jordan

Tuesday, January 16, 2018 5:29 PM UTC

Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018 5:29 PM UTC

Just two games on the NHL schedule Wednesday, and it’s an intriguing late-night matchup (10 p.m. ET) as Pittsburgh carries a four-game winning streak into Anaheim.

Pittsburgh Penguins at Anaheim DucksFree NHL Pick: PenguinsBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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Penguins-Ducks is the latest of two games on Wednesday’s NHL schedule with a 10 p.m. ET puck drop from the Honda Center with it nationally televised by NBC Sports Network. That should mean live betting available at many of SBR’s top-rated sportsbooks.

This is the final meeting of the season between the two unless they meet in the Stanley Cup Finals – Pittsburgh is +900 at Bovada to win the Eastern Conference for a third straight season, while Anaheim is +1200 to win the West for the first time since 2007. A Penguins-Ducks Cup Finals is priced at +13000 on 5Dimes. Don’t see it happening on the Anaheim side.

On Dec. 23, the Ducks won in the Steel City, 4-0. John Gibson, a Pittsburgh native, was deservedly the No. 1 star with the shutout and 29 saves. Cam Fowler Rickard Rakell, Andrew Cogliano and Ondrej Kase scored for the Ducks, who had two goals in the second and two in the third. Pens netminder Matt Murray had 10 saves on 13 shots before he was yanked early in the second period after Cogliano scored on a short-handed breakaway.

Anaheim was swept by Pittsburgh last year, losing 3-2 on the road and 5-1 at the Pond. The Pens are 7-2 in the past nine meetings overall on the NHL odds.

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Penguins Figuring Things Out?

Just a few days ago, the two-time Stanley Cup champion Penguins (24-19-3) were outside the Eastern Conference playoff field, but they have tied a season high with four straight wins, two before their bye week and two after.

In the second of a back-to-back Sunday, they routed the visiting Rangers 5-2. Phil Kessel had his 20th goal of the season, which was the 700th point of his career. He also became the third U.S.-born player in league history to score at least 20 goals in 10 or more consecutive seasons. Kessel leads the team in goals and points (52).

Rookie netminder Tristan Jarry has started the past four games, but that doesn’t mean he has replaced Murray as the No. 1. Murray missed last weekend’s two games for a personal matter but is on the road trip. Jarry has better numbers, though, as he’s 9-3-2 with a 2.33 GAA and .923 save percentage, while Murray is 15-12-1 with a 2.93 GAA and .903 SV. Murray has just an .887 save percentage and 3.05 GAA in five games since Christmas.

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Although to be fair, the Penguins beat the Rangers last night... pic.twitter.com/DQf8lpbeBz

— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) January 15, 2018
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The Ducks (20-16-9) have won the Pacific Division each of the past five seasons and haven’t missed the playoffs since 2012 but are on the outside looking in as things stand. They definitely aren’t catching expansion Vegas for the Pacific title.

Anaheim completed a five-game road trip Monday at 2-3 with a 3-1 loss at red-hot Colorado. The Ducks were without Cogliano as he served the first of a two-game suspension that ended his consecutive games streak at 830 -- the fourth-longest in NHL history. Cogliano has five goals and 13 assists and is plus-7 in 44 games. The Ducks need all the offensive help they can get as they are 25th in scoring at 2.7 goals per game. They have had injury problems, with Ryan Kesler limited to eight games, Ryan Getzlaf to 21 and Corey Perry to 34.

The Penguins have won nine of their past 12 playing on two days of rest, while the Ducks are just 4-13 in their past 17 vs. teams with a winning record. Pittsburgh extends its winning streak to five on NHL picks.

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