Offense was a central theme when these teams met two days ago, which saw the Sens outlast the Pens 5-4. Ottawa has been playing slightly better hockey, posting a 5-5 record over their past ten games, while Pittsburgh has been somewhat struggling, owning a 3-5-2 record over that same sample size. Despite their recent struggles, the Pens still find themselves sitting in the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, but it’s still very tight in that part of the standings, with four teams separated by just four points.
The Penguins have been one of the streakier overall teams in hockey, and that’s made it hard to really trust them on a nightly basis when they aren’t on one of their hotter runs. Still, it’s also hard to see them losing two games in a row to this inconsistent Sens team, especially when they’re meeting for the second time in three days.
Looking toward the projected goalie matchup tonight, the visiting Senators are expected to start Cam Talbot, while the Penguins should do the same with Casey DeSmith. The Sens netminder has posted an 11-12-1 record, paired with a .903 save percentage, while DeSmith is sitting at 6-9-3, along with a .904 save percentage. With what we know of these goalies, it’s hard to give a lean one way or another in net tonight.
The Senators really don’t find themselves anywhere near a playoff spot right now, which is an immense disappointment after the strong offseason they put together. On the other side, the Pens are trying to milk the last legs out of this aging core, and they need to pick up wins in games like these, meaning there’s some value in backing their moneyline price of -156 tonight.
Best Bet: Penguins moneyline (-156)
Offense certainly came at a high rate when these teams met on Wednesday, combining for nine goals. The Sens have relatively struggled in both scoring and keeping pucks out of their net, while the Penguins have been a middle-of-the-road team in both categories, with a slight edge to offense. Over the Sens past five games, three have seen seven or more goals scored, while the Pens have seen that transpire in three as well. With the recent trends of these teams and some concerns in goal, it’s not hard to see another high-scoring affair, meaning backing the over 6.5 has some value at -114.
Best Bet: Over 6.5 (-114)
There’s a lot of offensive talent that’s prevalent on this Penguins team, and that should be highlighted tonight against a Senators team that has been friendly to giving up goals. One player that’s continued to put up big numbers for Pittsburgh is Evgeni Malkin, who’s tallied 44 points in 44 games, including four goals over their past five games to lead the club. In a matchup where Malkin should have no problem finding his offensive flare and creativity, it’s hard to avoid his price to score tonight at +180.
Best Prop: Evgeni Malkin to Record Over 0.5 Goals (+180)
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