Pittsburgh takes on Vegas in a non-conference matchup on Saturday. The Penguins play a game on Friday night at Arizona, while Vegas hasn’t played since Jan. 15 against Winnipeg.
Pens struggling on their road trip
This is the dog days of the NHL. Teams are getting fried as they get ready for the All-Star break. Pittsburgh opened their five-game road trip against Anaheim, with a 7-4 win on Jan. 11. But they lost the next night, 5-2 at the LA Kings. On Tuesday, they fell to the same score, 5-2 at San Jose. The Sharks were led by a hat trick from Tomas Hertl, who has nine goals in his last 11 games. Defenseman Kris Letang scored for Pittsburgh on a highlight-reel tally, while Derick Brassard added a lot goal for the Pens. Pittsburgh also made a minor deal on Thursday, dealing fourth-liner forward Derek Grant to Anaheim for Joseph Blandisi, who has spent most of the season in the AHL.
The Penguins have acquired forward Joseph Blandisi (@_themagicbullet) from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Derek Grant.
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) January 17, 2019
The Pens are 25-15-4-2 this season led by superstar Sidney Crosby, who has 55 points and 20 goals. Letang leads with 138 shots and also has 11 goals and 28 assists. Winger Phil Kessel adds 18 goals and 33 assists. Pittsburgh ranks fifth in the league in goals (3.5), eighth in shots (32.6) and fifth in power play percentage (25.4). On defense, the rank 14th in goals against (2.9), 24thh in shots against (32.6) and third in penalty kill (85.0).
Struggling in Winnipeg
Vegas has had another strong first half at 28-17-3-1, showing that last season was not a fluke. They have struggled as of late, losing two of three games but those were their only two losses in the last 10 games. On Jan. 15, they lost at Winnipeg, 4-1 as they were shut out in the first two periods. Brandon Pirri scored for Vegas, while Marc-Andre Fleury finished with 23 saves. That loss broke a nine-game winning streak against the Jets.
🎥 Gallant: I thought we were the better team for most of the game, but Winnipeg found a way to win. pic.twitter.com/hVCNsUI1Do
— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) January 16, 2019
The Golden Knights are led by winger Alex Tuch, who has 15 goals and 22 assists. Center Jonathan Marchessault adds 124 goals and 17 points. Vegas does it with defense as they rank fifth in goals against (2.7), third in shots against (28.4), seventh in penalty kill (83.1) and first in shutouts (6). They average 3.0 goals per game (15th) with 33.4 shots (4th) and rank 20th on the power play at 18.0 percent.
- 8-2 last 10 overall.
- 8-2 last 10 vs. Metropolitan.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I have to go with Vegas in this one against a tired Pittsburgh team that is looking forward to getting back home and thinking about the All-Star break. Pittsburgh did win the first game this season at home and there’s nothing more than Fleury likes is getting revenge against his old team.
Full-Game Total Pick
I’m going with Vegas so they are an under team. Not going to hedge here. Last year, they won this game at home, 2-1. They’ve gone under in five of their last seven games. Fleury is going to come up with a huge game against his old team.