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McDavid, Crosby Face Off Wednesday In Edmonton

The Edmonton Oilers host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night.

After losing the first two games of a five-game road trip, the Pittsburgh Penguins (10-7-5) will look to get back into the win column Wednesday night in Edmonton. The Oilers (15-5-0) have slipped out of top spot in the Pacific Division but have two games in hand over the first-place Flames and can vault past Calgary with a win. 

Pittsburgh Penguins vs Edmonton Oilers
  • Date/Time: December 1, 10 p.m. ET
  • Arena: Rogers Place
  • TV Coverage: SN, SN360, TNT
  • Opening Odds: Oilers +140 | O/U 6.5 (Line History)
  • Penguins vs Oilers Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

Both teams have lost significant value as puck drop approaches. The Oilers have gone from +140 to -125 favorites while the Penguins’ moneyline odds have changed even more drastically from +220 to +115. It seems like a closer game is now expected. 

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Pittsburgh News & Notes

After a disappointing 6-3 home loss to the lowly Canadiens, the Penguins held the Flames to one goal and walked away with a point from the 2-1 shootout loss. They’ll need a similar defensive performance to succeed against the explosive Oilers.

Evgeni Malkin remains sidelined but the veteran forward practiced with teammates this week as he moves closer toward a return. However, Bryan Rust has recently been placed on injured reserve after suffering a lower-body injury.

Tristan Jarry has been solid between the pipes this season. His three shutouts are good for second-best in the league and he will have to turn in another sterling effort if the Pens hope to beat Edmonton. An interesting matchup pits Pittsburgh’s league-best penalty kill against the Oilers’ No. 1 power-play unit. 

Edmonton News & Notes

Edmonton can make it three in a row with a win against the Penguins despite a number of key absences, particularly on the back end. Duncan Keith was recently placed on injured reserve, joining fellow blue-liners Darnell Nurse and Oscar Klefbom and goalie Mike Smith, among others. Another defenseman, Cody Ceci, was placed in COVID-19 protocol on Tuesday.

The Oilers’ lethal power play, producing at a spectacular 37.7 percent clip, will get a worthy test against Pittsburgh’s top-rated penalty killers.

Jesse Puljujarvi has broken out this season with 16 points in his first 20 games. The fourth overall pick in the 2016 draft played well on the top line alongside Connor McDavid and is now getting the chance to be the main man on the third line. If he can continue to produce without McDavid, Edmonton’s balance up front will pose an increased challenge for opponents. 

How Pittsburgh Will Win

The Penguins will take their chances on the offensive end as they come but expect them to focus primarily on shutting Edmonton down. If Tristan Jarry can stay hot, Pittsburgh has a great opportunity to cash as an underdog. 

How Edmonton Will Win

The Oilers are close to getting Smith, Nurse and Keith back in the lineup. With Ceci expected to miss this one as well, the defensive corps is going to need to hold up against Sidney Crosby and company. 

Computer Pick: Penguins +110

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  • Best Moneyline
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Shark Bites
  • The UNDER is 5-1 in Pittsburgh’s last 6 games.
  • Pittsburgh is 7-1 in its last 8 games vs Edmonton.
  • Edmonton is 5-0 in its last 5 home games.