Fresh off a loss that snapped a 10-game winning spree, the Pittsburgh Penguins (20-9-5) will look to start another streak Tuesday night against the Anaheim Ducks (19-12-7). The Ducks are finishing off a four-game homestand, having won two of the first three contests.
Opening Odds Analysis
For a team carrying momentum into this clash, Anaheim’s moneyline value of +135 is quite intriguing. Of course, prior to their recent defeat, the Penguins were the hottest team in the league, which is why they opened as road favorites. There hasn’t been much movement on the side of the Pens, who are available at -140.
Pittsburgh News & Notes
Before their 3-2 loss to the Stars on Saturday, the Penguins went on an incredible run of 10 straight wins, including five victories on the road. The Penguins are tied with four other teams for the fewest regulation road losses (4) in the league.
All eyes will be on Evgeni Malkin, who is a game-time decision to make his season debut Tuesday night. Malkin has not played since undergoing knee surgery in June and no doubt will need some time to get up to speed when he makes his long-awaited return.
Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry is two wins shy of the league lead while his goals-against average of 1.94 is the best in the NHL among goalies who have played in at least five games.
Anaheim News & Notes
The Ducks trail the first-place Golden Knights by two points in the Pacific Division, though they have played an NHL-high 38 games (tied with Vegas). Anaheim is 12-5-4 playing at home this season.
While the Penguins have allowed the sixth-fewest goals in the league, the Ducks are 18th in that category and are the NHL’s fourth-most penalized team. Special teams could play a huge role in this clash and the Ducks will want to be on their best behavior to avoid being at a disadvantage since Pittsburgh is the least-penalized team in the league.
Anaheim’s terrific combination of youth and experience has served the team well this season. The Ducks are led by breakout star Troy Terry, who has 36 points and has notched 22 goals in 37 games after scoring 15 times in his first 129 NHL games.
How Pittsburgh Will Win
Pittsburgh is the quintessential two-way team that excels on both end of the ice. When Malkin makes his return, it’s going to be interesting to see where he slots in since Jeff Carter has done well as the team’s second-line center. The Penguins will need to stick to a disciplined game plan against one of the league’s top power-play units.
How Anaheim Will Win
Against the least-penalized team in the league, the Ducks will have to dominate at even strength. Netminder John Gibson will be a notable absence but Hampus Lindholm and Derek Grant could draw back in and provide a boost to the lineup. Keep an eye out for Anaheim’s second line to continue its electrifying form.
Computer Pick: Penguins ML (-170)
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