The Scotiabank Saddledome plays host to an enticing showdown as the Pittsburgh Penguins travel to Calgary to take on the Flames. It’s the last time that these two clubs will go at it in the regular season. AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh will air this East-West matchup, which gets going at 9 p.m. ET on Tuesday, December 17.
Pittsburgh Penguins at Calgary Flames Odds
Pittsburgh is 19-14 straight up (SU) and has earned 0.8 units for moneyline bettors this season. 17 of its outings have gone under the total, while 15 have gone over and just one has pushed. As the away team this season, the Pens are 5-8 SU.
Pittsburgh has converted on 16.8 percent of its power play chances this season, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 15th overall, and it has successfully killed off 81.8 percent of its penalties.
Pittsburgh, as a collective unit, has been called for penalties just 3.1 times per game overall this season, and 4.2 per game over its last five road outings. The team’s been forced to stave off opponent power plays just 6.5 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Averaging 24.0 saves per game with a .897 save percentage, Matt Murray (11-10-4) has been the best option in goal for Pittsburgh this year. If head coach Mike Sullivan chooses to rest him, however, Pittsburgh could go with Tristan Jarry (9-5), who has a .937 save percentage and 1.92 goals against average this year.
Jake Guentzel and Evgeni Malkin will both look to continue their strong seasons for the visiting Penguins. Guentzel (36 points) has tallied 17 goals and 19 assists, and has recorded multiple points in seven different games. Malkin has eight goals and 19 assists to his creditand has notched at least one point in 14 games.
Calgary is 18-17 straight up (SU) and has lost 1.6 units for moneyline bettors this year. 20 of its matches have gone under the total, while 12 have gone over and just three have pushed. The team’s 10-6 SU at home this year.
Calgary has converted on 17.4 percent of its power play opportunities this year, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 10th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 83.8 percent of all penalties.
Calgary players have been penalized 4.0 times per game this season, and 3.3 per game over their past ten outings. The team has been forced to stave off opponent power plays just 7.7 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
David Rittich has denied 29.0 shots per game as the top choice in the crease for Calgary. Rittich has 15 wins, 12 losses, and four OT losses and has maintained a mediocre 2.73 goals against average and a .914 save percentage this season.
The home team will be led on offense by Sean Monahan (10 goals, 18 assists).
Pittsburgh Penguins at Calgary Flames Betting Picks
NHL Pick: SU Winner – Penguins, O/U – Over
For both of these teams, the over has hit in three of their past five matches.
Pittsburgh has attempted 33.8 shots per contest overall this season (the second-most in the NHL), and 31.0 in its last five road games.
Power plays and penalty kills could prove to be even more key than usual in the outcome of this one. The Penguins are 10-7 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 13-12 in games where they’re in the box for fewer than 10 total penalty minutes. The Flames are 8-6 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 13-11 in games where total penalty minutes are in the single digits.
Calgary is 3-0 in games decided by a shootout this season while Pittsburgh is 2-0 in shootouts.
One of the best teams when it comes to pressuring their opponents, Calgary is ranked 5th in the NHL this season with 8.7 takeaways per game. That figure’s trended higher, as the team has forced 9.8 takeaways over its last 10 games and 10.8 takeaways over its last five.
Pittsburgh skaters have averaged 8.4 takeaways per game over its last five road games, its season average of 7.7 takeaways per game (ranked 13th overall).