Golden Knights vs. Penguins Odds, Pick: Can Pittsburgh Get Back on Track?

Golden Knights vs. Penguins Odds, Pick: Can Pittsburgh Get Back on Track? article feature image

Photo by Christopher Mast/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Sidney Crosby.

  • The Penguins host the Golden Knights as short favorites on Thursday night.
  • Las Vegas got off to a fast start this season, but regression is starting to hit. Can Pittsburgh come away with a much-needed win?
  • Grant White digs into the matchup and shares his best bet below.

Golden Knights vs. Penguins Odds

Golden Knights Odds+100
Penguins Odds-120
Over/Under6.5 (+100/-122)
Time7 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The Pittsburgh Penguins are in a bit of a funk and have dropped two straight contests entering Thursday night's tilt against the Las Vegas Golden Knights. The Golden Knights have also lost some of their early season momentum and have lost two of their past three games.

Moreover, Vegas is in the middle of a four-game Eastern Conference road trip and is searching for wins despite diminishing metrics. Can the Golden Knights overcome the multiple factors starting to work against them?

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Vegas Golden Knights

Vegas' perch atop the NHL standings is starting to crumble. After winning 13 of their first 15 games, the Golden Knights have dropped five of their past nine, albeit one of those losses came in overtime. It was an inevitable fall following a prolonged overachieving spell. But with their metrics in their current state, more losses are expected to follow the Pacific Division leaders.

The Golden Knights' production metrics indicate they've been outplayed by a substantive margin lately. Opponents have out-chanced the Knights in scoring chances in four straight games. Consequently, the Golden Knights expected goals-for rating plunged to 42.5% over the four-game sample.

Further, in reconciling their season-long metrics, it's evident additional correction is anticipated. The Golden Knights, at 56%, are playing above their 54.1% expected goals-for rating at five-on-five. Considering the state of their underlying metrics, we're anticipating more losses to follow the Knights.

Logan Thompson has been a big part of the Golden Knights' success. However, he's on an unsustainable path. The third-year pro is 7-1-0 on the road, despite a below-average 90.4% save percentage and 3.10 goals against average. His offense bailed him out to start the season, but Las Vegas been ineffective at creating chances recently and will face a stiff challenge from the Penguins.

Pittsburgh Penguins

With an aging nucleus, Sidney Crosby and company have adapted their roster to play a stifling, defensive brand of hockey. The Penguins rank in the league's top half in Corsi rating, allowing an average of 22.4 scoring and 8.4 high-danger chances per game. That defensive responsibility is plainly illustrated over their past seven games, with only one team managing more than nine quality chances and two having more than 20 scoring opportunities.

However, the solid defensive play hasn't prevented the team from creating chances. The Penguins have equaled or out-chanced their opponents in six of seven, posting a cumulative 58.3% high-danger chance rating. That has shifted the expected goals-for metrics in the Penguins' favor, with the team outplaying five of its past seven opponents, with a cumulative rating of 53.3%.

Those stats are more amplified over the past three outings. The Penguins have posted scoring chance ratings above 60% and high-danger opportunity ratios above 57.8% in two of three. Still, Pittsburgh has just one win over that stretch, which is incompatible with the on-ice product. As such, we're highlighting the Penguins as progression candidates over their coming games, starting with Thursday's battle against the Golden Knights.

Golden Knights vs. Penguins Pick

Analytically, these teams are headed in opposite directions. Although the results don't reflect their efforts, the Penguins are trending up. Conversely, the Golden Knights have exhausted their puck luck and are regression candidates as they continue the road trip.

Vegas' elite profile has decreased the price on the Penguins, but Pittsburgh is still the right side to be on ahead of puck drop. We're backing the home side as short favorites.

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