The Pittsburgh Penguins (6-2-2) and Toronto Maple Leafs (8-4-0) battle it out at the PPG Paints Arena on Saturday evening.
Prior to facing the Maple Leafs on Saturday, the Penguins have a road trip to the New York Islanders at the Barclays Center on Thursday evening, in what is the reverse fixture of Tuesday’s evening’s game at the PPG Paints Arena which the Islanders surprisingly won 6-3, so ending the Penguins four-game winning run in the process.
The Penguins can boast a very impressive 4.30 Goals per Game average, which ranks them top in the NHL overall standings for the season at present. Defensively they’ve allowed 3.10 Goals per Game, leaving them 18th overall. Phil Kessel is the Penguins current leading goalscorer on seven goals, while Evgeni Malkin has 13 assists and 19 points in total.
The Toronto Maple Leafs play the Dallas Stars at the Scotiabank Arena on Thursday evening prior to going to Pittsburgh and will be looking to return to winning ways after Monday night’s disappointing 3-1 loss on home-ice to the Calgary Flames.
Any NHL picks on Maple Leafs’ games over the next month or so will need to take account of the absence of the injured Auston Matthews with a left shoulder injury.
The Maple Leafs currently have a 3.50 Goals per Game average, which still leaves them 6th in the overall NHL standings. Defensively they have allowed 3.10 Goals per Game, leaving them 16th. They have a 32.3 Power Play PCT (2nd overall) and a 78.8 Penalty Kill PCT (16th overall).
The Money Line odds in this one will almost certainly favour a Pittsburgh win and, with Matthews ruled out, the Penguins are the picks to win this.
Pick: Money Line – Pittsburgh Penguins