Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#65 Arizona Coyotes 5.5 vs.
#66 Pittsburgh Penguins -175
Friday, December 6, 2019 at 7:05pm EST
PPG PAINTS Arena, Pittsburgh
Written by Chris Kubala

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It’s an interconference clash between a couple of teams solidly in the playoff picture in the Steel City. The Arizona Coyotes are on the road as they travel to face the Pittsburgh Penguins Friday night. Arizona was in action on the road Thursday night against Philadelphia in another interconference matchup: they downed Columbus 4-2 Tuesday night in their previous contest. Pittsburgh comes in off a 3-0 blanking of St. Louis at home Wednesday night in their last game. The Penguins have won four straight meetings and eight of the last 10, including a 3-2 overtime win in the most recent matchup on January 18, 2019.

Arizona Coyotes Log Third Game in Four NightsArizona was in Philadelphia Thursday night as they faced the surging Flyers. They’ll close out a swing through the Keystone State with this contest. The Coyotes entered Wednesday second in the Pacific Division, one point behind the Oilers in the standings. Arizona is 23rd in the league in goals for as they average 2.69 goals per contest on the season. The Coyotes are second in the league in goals against by allowing 2.31 goals per game on the year. Arizona is 13th in the league with the man advantage as they successfully convert 19.3 percent of their power play chances this season. The Coyotes are 16th in the league in penalty killing by successfully getting through 80.7 percent of their shorthanded situations. ?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 6, 2019 In their last game, the Coyotes got off to a strong start and then took control of the game in the later stages to earn the win. The opening period saw Arizona with an 11-9 edge in shots on goal and a 1-0 advantage on the scoreboard after 20 minutes. Clayton Keller opened the scoring with his fifth of the year on the power play at 19:11 off assists from Christian Dvorak and Phil Kessel. In the second period, Arizona was outshot 16-9 but outscored Columbus 2-1 to take a 3-1 lead after two periods of play. After Columbus tied the game, Christian Fischer gave the Coyotes a 2-1 lead with his fourth of the year at 9:35 of the period. Carl Soderberg and Jason Demers drew the assists. Lawson Crouse made it 3-1 with his sixth of the year at 16:39 off assists from Soderberg and Alex Goligoski. In the final period, the Coyotes were outshot 10-8 with both teams scoring once to finish the game with Arizona up a pair of goals. After Columbus drew within 3-2, Soderberg closed the scoring with his eighth of the year, unassisted, into an empty net at 19:25 of the third. Darcy Kuemper finished with 33 saves in the win for Arizona, who was outshot 35-27 in the game. With Kuemper getting the start Thursday, Antti Raanta is in line to get the call for this one.

Arizona was in Philadelphia Thursday night as they faced the surging Flyers and earned a 3-1 victory. They’ll close out a swing through the Keystone State with this contest. The Coyotes entered Thursday second in the Pacific Division, one point behind the Oilers in the standings. Arizona is 23rd in the league in goals for as they average 2.69 goals per contest on the season. The Coyotes are second in the league in goals against by allowing 2.31 goals per game on the year. Arizona is 13th in the league with the man advantage as they successfully convert 19.3 percent of their power play chances this season. The Coyotes are 16th in the league in penalty killing by successfully getting through 80.7 percent of their shorthanded situations.

?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 6, 2019

In their last game, the Coyotes got off to a strong start and then took control of the game in the later stages to earn the win. The opening period saw Arizona with an 11-9 edge in shots on goal and a 1-0 advantage on the scoreboard after 20 minutes. Clayton Keller opened the scoring with his fifth of the year on the power play at 19:11 off assists from Christian Dvorak and Phil Kessel. In the second period, Arizona was outshot 16-9 but outscored Columbus 2-1 to take a 3-1 lead after two periods of play. After Columbus tied the game, Christian Fischer gave the Coyotes a 2-1 lead with his fourth of the year at 9:35 of the period. Carl Soderberg and Jason Demers drew the assists. Lawson Crouse made it 3-1 with his sixth of the year at 16:39 off assists from Soderberg and Alex Goligoski. In the final period, the Coyotes were outshot 10-8 with both teams scoring once to finish the game with Arizona up a pair of goals. After Columbus drew within 3-2, Soderberg closed the scoring with his eighth of the year, unassisted, into an empty net at 19:25 of the third. Darcy Kuemper finished with 33 saves in the win for Arizona, who was outshot 35-27 in the game. With Kuemper getting the start Thursday, Antti Raanta is in line to get the call for this one.

Pittsburgh Penguins Seek to Build Off Shutout Win

Pittsburgh bounced back from a road loss to St. Louis in the first meeting between the teams over the weekend by earning the win Wednesday night. The Penguins headed into Thursday fourth in the Metropolitan Division, three points behind the Flyers for the final guaranteed playoff spot and 13 back of division-leading Washington. Pittsburgh is 6th in the league in goals for as they average 3.39 goals per game on the year. The Penguins are tied for 8th in the league in goals against as they allow 2.79 goals per contest. Pittsburgh is 23rd in the league in power play success this season as they have converted 15.7 percent of their chances with the man advantage on the year. The Penguins are 13th in penalty killing as they are successful in 82.7 percent of their shorthanded situations. They have four shorthanded goals on the year.

In their last game, Pittsburgh took advantage of playing at home and some quality goaltending, to earn the season split with the Blues. The opening period saw the Penguins with a 15-10 edge in shots on goal and a 1-0 lead on the scoreboard after 20 minutes of play. Teddy Blueger netted the only goal Pittsburgh would need just 39 seconds into the game. His third of the year was assisted by Marcus Pettersson and Brandon Tanev. In the second period, Pittsburgh was outshot 14-11 but scored the lone goal of the stanza to take a 2-0 lead. Stefan Noesen scored his first career goal at the 19:20 mark of the period off assists from Jared McCann and Dominik Kahun. The final period saw the Penguins outshoot the Blues 7-4 and tallied the lone goal to put things away. Alex Galchenyuk scored his second of the year at 4:59 off an assist from Sam Lafferty to close the scoring. Tristan Jarry made 28 saves for the shutout win for the Penguins. Pittsburgh held a 33-28 edge in shots in the game. It’s unclear if Jarry or Matt Murray will get the call here.

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We know that both teams are strong in their own zone. Arizona entered Thursday 9-3-3 on the road this season while Pittsburgh has gone a dominant 11-3-2 on their home ice. The difference in the two teams is their ability to light the lamp. Pittsburgh, even missing Sidney Crosby, still has a good collection of weapons that can light the lamp on any shift. The Coyotes are still working on putting that kind of talent together. Arizona has been stellar in goal this season but playing their third game in four nights and the second of a back to back, on the road, may be too much to ask for here. Look for Pittsburgh to come up with the home victory here.

Prediction: Pittsburgh Penguins -180

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Arizona ran their road mark to 10-3-3 with the impressive shutdown win of the hot Flyers Thursday night. The victory helped the Coyotes run their goal differential on the road to +5 (43-38) while their shot differential ballooned to -53 (524-471) in those games after being outshot 29-18 in the contest. The average Arizona road game sees an average of 5.06 goals per game. Pittsburgh has a +19 goal differential (56-37) and a +85 shot differential (571-486) at home, part of why they are 11-3-2 as the hosts this season. The Penguins see an average of 5.81 goals per game. Will Arizona's goaltending and defensive zone pressure keep this one under the mark again?

The under is 5-1 in the Coyotes' last six games on the road. Pittsburgh has seen the under go 5-1 in their last six against the Pacific Division, 6-2 in their last eight against the Western Conference and 9-4 in their last 13 meetings with Arizona. This one has the makings of a 3-1 or 3-2 style of game that ends up short of the mark.

Prediction: Under 5.5

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Arizona has been a pretty even split as far as results after the opening period on the road this season. Thursday's edge after 20 minutes marked the sixth time they've held the lead at the end of one on the road this season. The Coyotes have trailed in five games and been tied in five after one period as the visitors this season. Pittsburgh has led six times after one period at home this season while being tied in eight other games. The Penguins have trailed just twice all season after 20 minutes at home this season. That's enough to give the Penguins the edge here.

Prediction: Pittsburgh Penguins

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Arizona owns a +1 goal differential on the road in the opening period of their games this season after Kessel lit the lamp on the power play Thursday night. The Coyotes have seen a total of 21 goals in the first period on the road this season. That gives an average of 1.31 goals per game in the opening 20 minutes. Pittsburgh has a +9 goal differential in the opening period at home on the year. The Penguins see a similar 1.31 goals per game scored in the opening period this season. Expect this one to be scoreless or 1-0 in one direction or another at the end of one. Either way, it falls under the number.

Prediction: 1st Period Under
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.