Penguins vs. Lightning: Solid Goaltending Makes 'Under' Our NHL Pick

Bruce Webster

Friday, January 15, 2016 6:41 PM GMT

Friday, Jan. 15, 2016 6:41 PM GMT

The Pittsburgh Penguins come in off a 3-2 loss to Carolina, while the Tampa Bay Lightning come in off a 4-0 shutout of Colorado, who will be our free NHL pick for tonight?

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NCAA Basketball Pick: Under 5 (+105)
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

 

Pens Fall to Canes in OT
The Pittsburgh Penguins are a tough team to figure out these days as just when it looks like they are ready to get back on track they go ahead and three of four games. They come into this game off a 3-2 loss at Carolina, in which they fell behind 2-0, before battling back to send the game to OT, where Carolina won on a goal by Jeff Skinner. Kris Letang got the Pens on the board with his 5th goal of the year, while Chris Kunitz scored his 6th of the year in the 3rd period to tie the game at two apiece. That was all the scoring they had in them on this night and they have now scored a total of eight goals on their last four games, after putting up 10 total goals in their previous two games. This is a very inconsistent team.

Taking the loss for the Pens was Marc-Andre Fleury, who is now just 3-5 in his last eight starts. He should get the start in this game and is 15-15 with a 2.26 GAA on the year, including 7-8 with a 2.00 GAA on the road, while vs the Lightning h is 16-13 with a 2.45 GAA. Pittsburgh checks in at 26th in scoring at 2.3 gpg and 14th in power play conversions (18.7%), while on defense they come in at 9th in goals allowed (2.4 gpg) and 5th in penalty kill (84.8%). The Penguins need to play with more consistency, as they are a real tough team to figure out right now.  

 

Bishop Saves 21 in Shutout of Colorado
Tampa Bay has had many issues on offense this year, but in the crease they have been very solid and that is thanks mainly to Ben Bishop. His record may not reflect it as he is just 17-16 on the year, but his 2.00 GAA shows how tough he can be. On Tuesday night he went into Colorado and shutout the Avs 4-0, which is not easy to do as they are one of the best scoring team in the league, especially at home. It was just his 2nd shutout of the year and the 12th of his career. Bishop should get the start here and he is 9-8 with a 2.05 GAA at home, while going 0-2 with a 4.93 GAA in his career vs Pittsburgh.

Steven Stamkos led the way for the Lightning in the win over the Avs as he scored twice, which now gives him 20 on the year and that leads the team. Stamkos went through a period of 10 games without scoring a goal, but has since put nine pucks in the net in his last 11 games, which is just what the team’s leading scorer should do. Ondrej Palat (3rd) also scored and had two assists as well, while putting in the 4th goal was Tyler Johnson (5th).  The Lightning come in at 17th in the league in scoring, putting up 2.5 gpg and 21st in power play conversions (17.7%), while on defense they are 4th in goals allowed, giving up just 2.3 gpg and 21st in penalty kill (79.2%). Lets' review the NHL odds and the latest trens

 

Pittsburgh Trends
The Under is 43-20-5 in their last 68 after scoring two goals or less in their previous game
Under is 38-18-3 in their last 59 road games

Tampa Bay Trends
The Under is 3-1-1 in their last five home games following a road trip of seven or more days
The Under is 3-1-1 in their last five games following a win

 

Betting Analysis
I will look to the under here as we have some very solid goaltending going up against a couple o offensively challenged teams. The Penguins are 26th in scoring, while the Lighting are at 17th in scoring and both teams come in ranked in the top 10 in goals allowed. Just six of Tampa Bay’s 20 home games have put up more than five goals, while just five of Pittsburgh’s 21 road games have put up more than five goals. This one has 2-1 written all over it. Take Under as your NHL pick.

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