Possible First Round Playoff Matchup
The Penguins host the Red Wings on Wednesday at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with the opening faceoff slated for 8:05 PM ET. The game will be televised nationally in the United States by the NBC Sports Network. Pittsburgh has won 5 of their last 6 at home versus Detroit. These teams have seen 8 of their last 10 meetings go under the total including the last 4 played at Pittsburgh. The Penguins have clinched the Metropolitan Division and 2nd overall in the Eastern Conference. Detroit is 4th in the Atlantic Division and 7th in the East. At the time of this writing there was no NHL betting odds posted on this game because of the long injury list listed for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Penguins Injury List
- Sidney Crosby "?" Wednesday vs. Detroit ( Rest )
- Chris Kunitz "?" Wednesday vs. Detroit ( Lower Body )
- Olli Maatta "?" Wednesday vs. Detroit ( Upper Body )
- Brooks Orpik "?" Wednesday vs. Detroit ( Lower Body )
- Joe Vitale out indefinitely ( Undisclosed )
- Marcel Goc expected to miss 3 weeks ( Foot )
- Evgeni Malkin expected to miss 2-3 weeks ( Foot )
- Chris Conner out indefinitely ( Foot )
- Kris Letang out indefinitely ( Heart )
- Pascal Dupuis out for season ( Knee )
Getting to the Finish Line Unscathed
The Penguins enter tonight with 3 regular season games left to play, and nothing more to gain. At this point the goal is to finish out the regular season without further injuries, and let some of their key players get some much needed rest in order to be fresh at the start of the playoffs. Pittsburgh does come off a 3-2 win in an overtime shootout at Columbus on Sunday. The Penguins have seen just 1 of their last 9-games go over the total. The Penguins are a terrific 47-16 versus the money line in their last 63 home games. However they’re just 1-4 in the last 5 at the Consol Energy Center versus an opponent with a winning record.
In the Driver’s Seat
The Detroit Red Wings come off a 4-2 win at Buffalo last night that inched them close to a playoff berth. The win was the 5th in their last 6-games. Basically with a win this evening the Red Wings would clinch a playoff spot. The only way Detroit wouldn’t make the playoffs at this point would be by losing their final 3-games, then seeing Washington win their final 3, and Columbus win 1 of their last 3. You wouldn’t be going out on a limb by saying that it’s a safe bet that Detroit is going to make the playoffs. The Red Wings have gone under the total in just 2 of their last 11-games. They’ve scored 3-goals or more in 11 of their last 12-games.
It’s going to be highly unlikely the Penguins would risk playing star players Sidney Crosby, Chris Kunitz, or Brooks Orpik tonight in a game that’s virtually meaningless for them. Detroit has gained a ton of momentum down the final stretch of the regular season, and will look to cement their position in the playoffs as soon as possible.
Free Pick: Detroit over Pittsburgh