Tonight, NHL gets underway as the slumping Detroit Red Wings host conference rival Pittsburgh.
Winless in their last ten, with an NHL-low 17 points, tonight Detroit seeks rare success during a down season. The Red Wings average a shade under one goal per game since Nov. 23 and have been outscored 28-5 in those encounters.
Meanwhile, Pittsburghrecently took the tail end of a home-and-home vs. St. Louis 3-0. Friday, the Penguins bested Arizona 2-0 on the first stop of back-to-back outings. The Penguins are 2-3 on the second leg of consecutive games and stand fifth (15-9-4) in the ultra-competitive Metropolitan Division.
Tonight marks the first 2019-2020 meeting between these teams. Last season, Pittsburgh defeated Detroit 2-1 in three regular season matchups.
The Penguins enter tonight as -180 favorites.
Injury-hit Penguins find success vs. BluesPerennially among Eastern Conference contenders, Pittsburgh is camped around the Metro’s upper-echelon. Solid two-way play has allowed Sidney Crosby and company to remain within striking distance as the season gains traction. Ranked fifth overall in both categories, Pittsburgh can sneak through the crease (96 goals for) and defend their own (78 goals against). This utility was displayed during Wed.’s shutout 3-0 win vs. St. Louis.
Coach Sullivan on Tristan Jarry: "I think he’s playing extremely well. I’m sure his confidence is high right now, because success breeds confidence."— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) December 7, 2019
WINfographic 📈: https://t.co/PAn2VVkaxx pic.twitter.com/o8c9yoJ9uI
Stefan Noesen, Alex Galchenyuk, and Teddy Blueger each added scoring strikes as Tristan Jarry stopped all 28 Blues shots sent his way. Last week’s win brought Pittsburgh the distinction of being the first team since Oct. to beat St. Louis on the road in regulation. That feat’s all the more impressive considering it came without Crosby, Brian Dumoulin and Nick Bjugstad -all of whom didn’t play Friday vs. Phoenix and are expected to miss tonight’s contest.
Detroit slump continues as rested Wings look for win tonightAnemic offense has fueled the Red Wings’ slide toward the NHL’s worst statistical unit. As the shutouts grow, so too does the gap between Detroit and every other team occupying the Atlantic Division. Now, the oddsmakers have the Wings listed as considerable underdogs vs. a banged up Pittsburgh group playing on the road, on the second night of a back-to-back. It can’t get much lower for Jeff Blashill’s men.
Overall, Detroit ranks last in goals for (63) and goals against (119). Further, the Red Wings convert 13.1 percent of power play opportunities (#27) and kill a league-worst 72.6 percent of opposing man advantages. Jordan Eberle (two goals) and the Islanders had no issue exploiting those weaknesses during Monday’s 4-1 win vs. Detroit.
Trends courtesy of Covers.com
Penguins are 4-1 in their last 5 games as a favorite.Penguins are 4-1 in their last 5 vs. a team with a losing record.
Red Wings are 4-9 in their last 13 games playing on 3 or more days rest.Red Wings are 23-53 in their last 76 games as an underdog.Red Wings are 16-38 in their last 54 overall.