The high scoring Pittsburgh Penguins host the struggling St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night on NBCSN. The Blues have lost three straight and have major issues in goal as they head into Pittsburgh to face Sidney Crosby and the Penguins who lead the league in goals per game at 3.6 per contest. It does not sound like a good situation for the Blues. The one positive for St. Louis is that they have taken six of the last ten in this series against the Penguins.
This war on the ice will go down Tuesday, January, 24, 2016, at 7 p.m. ET at the PPG Paints Arena. The game will be televised live on NBCSN.
We'll have NHL odds at BookMaker.eu available for this and every game on the NHL Tuesday schedule.
The Blues have had two days off to get ready for this game as they were in Winnipeg on Saturday and lost 5-3. St. Louis has not played well on the road this season going 7-13 with 10 games going over, 9 going under with 1 push.
The Penguins are coming off a game against Boston on Sunday. This is also a little bit of a sandwich game for Pittsburgh as they are playing the Bruins again on Thursday in Boston. Pittsburgh has been outstanding at home this season as they are 19-4 with 15 going over the total, 5 going under with 3 pushes.
The Blues have a decent power play as they are 7th in the league at 22.1% and overall the Blues are scoring 2.8 goals per game which is 10th in the league. The problem for St. Louis is defense as they are giving up 3.1 goals per game which is 26th in the league. Surprisingly, the penalty kill has not been the problem as the Blues are 8th in the league at 83%.
The Penguins are rolling on offense as they average 3.6 goals per game to lead the league. Their power play is 3rd in the league at 23.2%. The penalty killing is just 24th at 78.7% but that number is a lot better than earlier this season when they were last in the league. The Penguins are giving up 2.9 goals per game which is 23rd in the NHL.
The situation for the Blues in goal is a disaster. Starter Jake Allen has been terrible lately and has lost all confidence. He is 17-15 on the season with a goals against average of 2.85. Carter Hutton hasn’t been that much better as he is 6-8 with a 2.80 goals against average. The team was so desperate they called up Phoenix Copley from the minors but he was awful in his only start giving up five goals.
The focus for the Blues right now is in goal but goaltending is not their only problem. Their defense has been awful in recent weeks. “I think puck management is one of the big things for us right now.” Defenseman Colton Parayko said, “Making sure, if we have the puck more in the offensive zone, it’s almost a defensive strategy. Offense is good defense; at the same time, have to clean up our D-zone as well.”
The Penguins are in great shape in goal with starter Matt Murray who is 16-5 with a 2.38 goals against average and backup Marc-Andre Fleury who is 13-11 with a 3.23 goals against average.
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These teams have met four times in the past two seasons with each team winning twice with three of the four going over the total. The Blues have done well recently in Pittsburgh taking three of the last four although they did lose 4-3 in Pittsburgh last season.
It would not surprise me to see Fleury get the start in goal in this one and that would make me a little hesitant to lay the big price on Pittsburgh. I will avoid a side and just take the game over the total.
NHL Odds: Penguins 5, Blues 4
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