The Pepsi Center will play host to an enticing matchup as the Pittsburgh Penguins pay a visit to the Colorado Avalanche. It’s the last time that these two clubs will meet in the regular season. This East-West matchup will get going at 9 p.m. ET on Friday, January 10, and it will be televised live on AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Colorado Avalanche Odds
Pittsburgh (+130) is currently the underdog to Colorado (-150), and the oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at 7 goals. If you want to play this matchup’s total, you’ll be looking at odds of -110 money on the over and -110 on the under.
Pittsburgh is 26-17 straight up (SU) and has earned moneyline bettors 4.2 units this year. 22 of its contests have gone under the total, while 20 have gone over and just one has pushed. This 2019-20 Penguins team is 10-9 SU on the road.
Pittsburgh has converted on 18.2 percent of its power play opportunities this season, a mark that’s right around league average. Its penalty kill is ranked 13th overall, and the team’s successfully killed off 81.3 percent of its penalties.
Pittsburgh, as a collective unit, has been whistled for penalties just 3.1 times per game this season, and 4.0 per game over its last five on the road. The team’s been forced to defend opponent power plays 8.9 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Sporting a .896 save percentage and 24.3 saves per game, Matt Murray (13-11-4) has been the best option in goal for Pittsburgh this season. If it decides to rest him, however, Pittsburgh may roll with Tristan Jarry (14-7-1), who has a .934 save percentage and 2.04 goals against average this year.
Jake Guentzel and Evgeni Malkin will both look to continue their strong seasons for the visiting Penguins. Guentzel has 43 points on 20 goals and 23 assists, and has recorded two or more points in nine different games. Malkin has 12 goals and 28 assists to his credit (and has logged a point in 22 games).
On the other side of the rink, Colorado is 25-19 straight up (SU) and has netted moneyline bettors 2.5 units this season. Through 44 regular season matches, 23 of its games have gone over the total, while 19 have gone under and just two have pushed. This year, the team’s 11-9 SU as the home team.
Colorado has converted on 19.4 percent of its power play opportunities this season, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 25th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 77.6 percent of all penalties.
The Avalanche have been penalized 3.8 times per game this season, and 2.8 per game over their past five contests. The team’s been forced to kill penalties just 7.8 minutes per game over their last five outings.
Philipp Grubauer has stopped 27.6 shots per game as the top selection in goal for Colorado. Grubauer has 13 wins, 13 losses, and three overtime losses and has registered a mediocre 2.92 goals against average and a subpar .909 save percentage this season.
Nathan MacKinnon (26 goals, 39 assists) will lead the offensive counter for the Avs.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Colorado Avalanche Free Picks
NHL Pick: SU Winner – Avalanche, O/U – Over
For both of these clubs, the total has gone over in four of their last five matches.
This game features two teams that have pounded opposing goalies with shots. Pittsburgh has attempted the league’s ninth-most shots on goal (33.0) and Colorado has attempted the 10th-most (33.0). The Pens have averaged 26.6 shot attempts over their last five road games and the Avs have taken 37.6 shots over their last five home outings.
The extra-man advantage may prove to be key in this game. The Penguins are 14-8 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 17-13 in games where they serve fewer than 10 total penalty minutes. The Avalanche are 15-8 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 19-9 when they’re in the box for less than 10 minutes.
Colorado skaters have created 9.4 takeaways per game over its last five home games, an improvement over its season average of 8.3 takeaways per game (ranked 7th in the league).
Pittsburgh skaters have created 7.7 takeaways per game (ranked 15th in the NHL).
Pittsburgh may hold the upper hand if it’s a tight one late. The team’s 9-7 in one-goal games, while Colorado is 5-7 in such games.