Penguins-Oilers: Superstar Matchup Between Crosby & McDavid

Matthew Jordan

Monday, October 22, 2018 11:31 AM UTC

Monday, Oct. 22, 2018 11:31 AM UTC

Unquestionably the biggest NHL matchup of Tuesday night has Sidney Crosby and his Penguins visiting Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers.

Pittsburgh (3-1-2) at Edmonton (3-3-0)Tuesday, 9 p.m. ETFree NHL Pick: OverBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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Even if you are the most die-hard hockey fan on the planet, you can’t tell me there are more than a handful of regular-season games worth circling as must-see TV every year. Just not how the sport works, much like baseball.

However, Tuesday night’s Penguins at Oilers is definitely appointment viewing and should be one of the most-viewed and most-wagered games of the regular season – especially in Canada (it’s on SNO up there). Why? Sidney Crosby vs. Connor McDavid.

With all due respect to excellent players like Alex Ovechkin, Patrick Kane, John Tavares, Auston Matthews or anyone else you want to name, by far the NHL’s two biggest stars are Crosby and McDavid.

The 21-year-old McDavid used to idolize Crosby, who is 10 years older. Both are from Canada, McDavid from Ontario and Crosby from Nova Scotia. They have combined for three Hart Trophies, with McDavid winning in 2016-17 and Crosby in 2013-14 and 2006-07. McDavid’s going to win more of them, guaranteed, barring injury, and has replaced Crosby as the face of the league and its singular talent. Crosby recently said McDavid was the best player.

Obviously, Crosby has the edge with three Stanley Cups (and a couple of Olympic gold medals) to zero for McDavid, who hasn’t gotten his Oilers to the Finals yet. In addition, McDavid has yet to beat Crosby head-to-head in the NHL. McDavid entered the league in 2015 and the Oilers’ only victory over the Penguins since then was Nov. 28, 2015, and McDavid was out injured. He didn’t get to face Crosby at all his rookie year, breaking his collarbone the game before their potential first meeting (Nov. 6, 2015).

Edmonton hasn’t won at home in this series since 2014.

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Pens Get Murray Back

Pittsburgh has been off since winning 3-0 in Toronto on Thursday to end a two-game losing streak. Matt Murray made 38 saves in his first shutout of the year. He hadn’t played since Oct. 6 due to a concussion and was very shaky in his two games overall. It was Murray’s seventh career shutout.

Crosby had an assist to tie Darryl Sittler for 60th on the NHL's career points list with 1,221. Next up on the list with 1,126 points are Joe Nieuwendyk and Mike Bossy. Crosby still hasn’t scored a goal. Kris Letang scored his 100th career goal in the win and Evgeni Malkin had two goals.

Edmonton (3-3-0) lost 3-0 at home to Nashville on Saturday, the first time the Oilers have been blanked this year. And it wasn’t even against Pekka Rinne but backup Juuse Saros. The Predators have won 13 straight in the series. Edmonton wingers Ty Rattie and Drake Caggiula and defenseman Matt Benning missed the game due to injury. Rattie has been placed on injured reserve. The Oilers are struggling offensively thus far, ranking 28th in scoring at 2.2 goals per game.

  • Penguins are 4-0 in the last 4 meetings in Edmonton.
  • Over is 4-1 in Oilers last 5 Tuesday games.
  • Over is 19-8-3 in Penguins last 30 games following a win.

We expect both Crosby and McDavid to put on a show here, both teams are allowing 3.2 goals per game and thus like the ‘over’ for a Tuesday NHL pick – it’s 14-5-1 in Pittsburgh’s past 20 on the road.

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