NHL action on Thursday evening and a couple of teams from the Metro Division will square off as the New York Islanders pay a visit to PPG PAINTS Arena in Pittsburgh, PA to grapple with the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Islanders check in off a 3-1 home loss to the Jets, while the Penguins are off a 6-3 home win over the Avalanche.
Offense Continues To Struggle
The New York Islanders started their season at 3-4, before winning five games in a row. Since then, it has not been that good for them as they enter this game having lost eight of their last 13 games. Despite coming in at 13-13 overall, the Islanders are in 3rd place in the Metro Division and just four points out of first. they must turn their recent play around or it could be a long rest of the season for the Isles. The offense has been a bit below average for the year, but it was nearly non-existent in their recent 3-1 home loss to the Jets. The Isles have now scored a total of six goals in their last four games. Scoring their lone goal was Anders Lee, which was his 10th of the year.
— Elite Sports NY (@EliteSportsNY) December 5, 2018
Absorbing the loss was Thomas Greiss, who allowed two goals on 23 shot attempts to fall to 9-6 with a 2.40 GAA and a .925 save percentage on the year, including 6-5 with a 2.57 GAA and a .913 save percentage here at home. In his career, he has gone 4-1 with a 2.57 GAA against the Penguins. The Islanders enter this game ranked 19th in the league in scoring, putting up 2.92 gpg and 10th in goals allowed at 2.81 gpg.
Pens Get Revenge On THe Avs
It has been a real struggle for the Pittsburgh Penguins this year especially of late as they enter this game having won just five of their last 17 games. That has dropped them to 6th in the Metro Division, but still, they are only six points out of first in the division. There is a lot of time left for the Pens to find the consistency they are hoping for. Last week, the Pens faced the Avs on the road and lost that game by a score of 6-3. On Tuesday evening, they got revenge here at home and by the same 6-3 score. The Game was tied at 3-3 entering the 3rd period when Patric Hornqvist took over to score all three goals of the final frame. All three goals were scored in a 2:49 span of time. He now has 12 goals on the year. Jake Guentzel (12th), Evgeni Malkin (10th) and Derick Brassard (3rd) also scored.
Fastest hat trick in Penguins history. Need we say more?
Here's another look ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/EhvBnSqPGE
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) December 5, 2018
Grabbing the win was Casey DeSmith, who stopped 42 of the 45 shots that he faced to improve to 7-7 with a 2.49 GAA and a .923 save percentage on the year, including 5-3 with a 2.50 GAA and a .927 save percentage here at home. This will be his first career start against the Islanders. The Penguins enter this game ranked 9th in the league in scoring at 3.42 gpg and 23rd in goals allowed at 3.27 gpg.
- 52-19 in their last 71 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
- 104-44 in their last 148 home games
New York is:
- 17-35-3 in the last 55 meetings in Pittsburgh
- 4-10 in their last 14 when their opponent scores 5 goals or more in their previous game
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Penguins have struggled of late, but they should still take this one against the Islanders. Their offense has been solid this year and Case DeSmith has been steady in the crease. He should be able to have a good game against an Islanders team that has scored just six goals over their last four games. Lastly, we note that the Islanders are just 10-30 in their last 40 games here in Pittsburgh.
Prediction: Pittsburgh -190
Full-Game Total Pick
The Islanders have struggled to score of late, but they should score some in this one against a Pittsburgh team that has allowed 3.64 gpg at home. The Pens have averaged 3.29 gpg at home and 3.60 gpg over their last 10 games, while the Islanders have allowed 3.20 gpg in their last 10 games. The Over is 5-1 the last six meetings between these teams here in Pittsburgh.
Prediction: Over 6.5