The Scottrade Center will be hosting an East-West matchup as the Pittsburgh Penguins travel to Missouri to face the St. Louis Blues. It’s the last time that these two clubs will go at it in the regular season. NBC will air the game, which gets going at 0 ET on Sunday, February 11.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. St. Louis Blues Odds
St. Louis enters the game as the favorite with a moneyline of -120. The line for Pittsburgh sits at +100 and the oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at 6 goals. The line for betting that total stands at -120 money on the over and +100 on the under.
Earning 4.5 units for moneyline bettors, St. Louis is 34-23 straight up (SU) overall in the 2017-18 season. That winning percentage, ranked fifth in the NHL so far this season, isn’t too far off from to what the team managed during last year’s regular season (46-36). 34 of its 57 contests have gone under the total, while 23 have gone over and none have pushed. The team’s 19-11 SU at home this year.
The Blues have converted on just 16.2 percent of their power play chances this season, a figure that’s ranked 28th overall in the NHL. On the other hand, their penalty kill is ranked 15th overall, and they’ve successfully killed off 81.4 percent of all penalties.
As a collective unit, the Blues have been penalized just 3.5 times per game overall this season, 4.0 per game over their last five contests total, and 3.4 per game over their last five at home. The team’s had to kill penalties for just 8.4 minutes per game over their last 10 matchups, overall.
With a .909 save percentage and 25.7 saves per game, Jake Allen (19-20-2) has been the top option in goal for the Blue Notes this year. If the Blue Notes, however, choose to rest him, head coach Mike Yeo could roll with Carter Hutton (16-9-9 record, .944 save percentage, 1.70 goals against average).
The Blue Notes will continue relying on leadership from Brayden Schenn and Vladimir Tarasenko. Schenn (53 points) has produced 23 goals and 30 assists and has recorded two or more points on 13 separate occasions this year. Tarasenko has 23 goals and 26 assists to his credit and has recorded at least one point in 31 contests.
Pittsburgh is 30-26 straight up (SU) and has lost 3.4 units for moneyline bettors thus far. A total of 29 of its games have gone over the total, while 25 have gone under and just two have pushed. As the road team, the Penguins are 10-18 SU so far.
The Penguins currently tout the second-strongest power-play unit in the NHL, as they’ve scored on 26.6 percent of their extra-man opportunities this season. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked sixth overall and it’s successfully killed off 82.8 percent of all penalties.
Pittsburgh’s skaters have been penalized 4.2 times per game in total this season, 4.2 per game over their last five match ups total, and 4.0 per game over their last five games as the visiting team. The team’s had to kill penalties 8.7 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Matt Murray (25.4 saves per game) has been the primary option in goal for Pittsburgh. Murray has 20 wins, 15 losses, and two overtime losses to his credit, while registering a .903 save percentage and 2.96 goals against average this year.
For the visiting Penguins, the offense will be facilitated through Phil Kessel (24 goals, 41 assists) and Evgeni Malkin (30 goals, 33 assists).
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. St. Louis Blues Betting Predictions
NHL Prediction: SU Winner – Blues, O/U – Over
Over St. Louis’ last ten outings, nine of them have been decided by two or more goals (the team is 6-3 in those games).
Power plays and penalty kills could prove to be even more key than usual in this matchup. The Penguins are 16-9 in games where they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 16-17 when they’re in the box for fewer than 10 penalty minutes, total. The Blues are 16-7 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 24-15 when they’re in the box for less than 10 minutes.
Pittsburgh is 2-2 in games decided by a shootout this season while St. Louis is 3-0 in shootouts.
The over has hit in three of St. Louis’ last five outings.
One of the best at possessing the puck, St. Louis is ranked 3rd this season with just 5.9 giveaways per game. That figure has regressed recently, as it’s averaged 6.8 giveaways over its last 10 games and 8.2 giveaways over its last five.
Pittsburgh skaters have averaged 11.6 giveaways over its last five home games, a rise over its season average of 8.4 giveaways per game (the 11th-fewest in the NHL).
This game features two of the tougher teams in the league. Pittsburgh skaters have accounted for the fourth-most hits in the league (24.7 per game) and the Blue Notes have recorded the 12th-most (22.4).
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