Saturday, 8 p.m. ET
Free NHL Pick: Blues ML
Best Line Offered: SportsBetting
The Pittsburgh Penguins have been a wildly inconsistent bunch this season. Their longest winning streak is four, but they also have won back-to-back games three other times. They’ve had a five-game losing streak, a four-game skid and two other two-game slides. On Saturday in their lone visit of the season to St. Louis, the Pens look for a season-best fifth straight win and to inch closer to Washington for first in the Metropolitan Division.
St. Louis, meanwhile, fired Coach Mike Yeo on Nov. 20 and named former tough guy player Craig Berube as interim coach. Really nothing has changed in terms of team performance. The Blues have lost at least two in a row several times this year but yet to win three consecutive games. They try for that here.
Pittsburgh and St. Louis have split the season series each of the past four seasons. In three of those, the Blues lost at home. Last year, they were 4-1 home losers. That was notable because Sidney Crosby had two goals and reached 400 career. If you are wondering, he’s now at 427, which is 74th all-time.
Matt Murray made 33 saves in that victory. He’s 1-1-1 in his career vs. St. Louis with a 2.98 GAA and .906 save percentage. Jake Allen took the loss, and he’s 2-2-1 in his career vs. the Pens with a 3.18 GAA and .890 SV.
Pens Lock Up Guentzel
Before beating the 5-2 Red Wings on Thursday, the Penguins got some important housekeeping done: Signing potential restricted free agent Jake Guentzel to a five-year, $30 million extension. Guy is a very good player in the regular season and a monster in the playoffs. He’s tied for sixth in playoff points per game (1.12) among players with at least 10 games played since the 2017 postseason.
When Pittsburgh won the Cup in ’17, Guentzel led all NHL players in postseason goal scoring with 13, the second-most ever by a rookie in league history. His 21 points tied the NHL rookie record, and his five game-winners set a league rookie mark. In just two postseasons, Guentzel’s 23 playoff goals are already seventh-most in Pens history and first among all NHL players in that span.
This year, Guentzel should shatter all regular-season bests as he has 15 goals and 18 assists. He didn’t have a point in Thursday’s win. Derick Brassard scored twice vs. Detroit, Brassard’s first multi-point game since Pittsburgh acquired him in February 2018. Murray allowed two goals on 29 shots for his fourth straight victory.
The Blues have a 3-8-2 record against teams that are currently outside of the NHL playoff picture. On the flip side, they’re 12-8-2 against teams currently in the playoffs following Thursday’s 4-1 home win over Buffalo. Robert Thomas had a goal and assist and Allen 30 saves. He has won five of his last seven starts.
- Penguins are 1-5 in their last 6 road games vs. a team with a losing home record.
- Blues are 5-1 in their last 6 vs. a team with a winning record.
While this might just be another game for the Penguins, it’s big for the Blues to get to .500 for the first time since Nov. 16. Back St. Louis on the moneyline for a Saturday NHL bet.