The Penguins and Blues will square off in St. Louis on Thursday night. Read to find out what to expect from this one.
NHL Betting Preview: Pittsburgh Penguins vs St. Louis Blues 3/17/22
In a matchup of two playoff contenders, the Pittsburgh Penguins will come into St. Louis to take on the Blues at the Enterprise Center. Both teams have done more winning than losing but have had very different seasons standings wise.
The Penguins are tied with the Rangers for 2nd most points in the Eastern Conference’s Metropolitan Division at 81 while the Blues are 2nd in the Central Division in the Western Conference but trail the Colorado Avalanche by a whopping 15 points.
Either way both teams find themselves in the thick of a playoff race with the regular season in its home stretch.
The Penguins have been the better team both on paper and in terms of performance on the ice. The Penguins have two more wins than the Blues and an all around better team stats wise.
Forwards Jake Guentzel and Sidney Crosby lead the pace for the Penguins’ offense with 60 and 59 points, respectively. Guentzel has been a star for Pittsburgh this season as he’s also tied for 8th most goals in the NHL with 29.
The Penguins have also benefited from great all around play by defender Kris Letang who is top ten in assists in the NHL with 46.
In net it’s been a great season for Tristin Jarry who’s top ten in goals against per game, save percentage and wins and has been a critical component to Pittsburgh’s success on the ice this season.
The Penguins are 5-4-1 in their last ten with two matchups against division leaders, the Carolina Hurricanes, the latter of which resulted in a 4-2 home victory in Pittsburgh. The Penguins have been solid on the road this season with a 19-7-4 record.
On St. Louis’ side, they’re 34-17-8 with 76 points and have been playing practically the whole season in the shadow of the Colorado Avalanche who have been the dominant force in the Western Conference.
The Blues’ offensive game runs through 23 year old forward Jordan Kyrou. Kyrou is the team leader in points (59), goals (22) and assists (37). They also have strong forwards in Brandon Saad, Ryan O’Reilly, David Perron and Vladimir Tarasenko.
On defense it’s been stellar play from defenders Torey Krug and Justin Faulk. In net Villie Husso has been excellent with the league’s 5th best goals against per game rate (2.24) and tied for the 3rd best save percentage (.928), just a single percentage point behind Carolina’s Frederik Andersen.
The Blues will come into Thursday night 5-3-2 in their last ten games and 3-1-1 in their last five, the most recent being an overtime loss to the Winnipeg Jets last Sunday.
These teams have already met this season with the Penguins defeating the Blues 5-3 at home back in early January. Now that this game is shifting over to St. Louis, it certainly increases the Blues’ chances of ending the night with a win.
St. Louis’ goals for to goals against differential is noticeably better than Pittsburgh’s and they’ve had to contend with the juggernaut that are the Colorado Avalanche all season.
However, the Penguins’ ability to win with consistency and put up points has been superior to the Blues. Jake Guentzel, Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang’s play this season has Pittsburgh in a great position as we near the end of the regular season.
The line has Pittsburgh as slight favorites at -115 with St. Louis coming in at -105. St. Louis is slated at -250 to beat the puck line and the over/under is 6.
This game could go either way but it’s hard not to take the Penguins. They’re simply the more talented team, have a solid road record and have strung wins together with more consistency this season.
However, bet on this to be a close, low-scoring game. Pittsburgh and St. Louis are close to each other in almost every stat and each have excellent goaltenders.
Final score prediction: Penguins 3, Blues 2.
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