NHL Odds & Pick: Penguins vs. Hurricanes Betting Preview (January 14)

NHL Odds & Pick: Penguins vs. Hurricanes Betting Preview (January 14) article feature image

Pictured: Martin Necas #88 of the Carolina Hurricanes. (Photo by Josh Lavallee/NHLI via Getty Images)

  • The Hurricanes host the Penguins on Saturday night. Pittsburgh is playing the second half of a back-to-back and our expert feels that'll put them at a disadvantage.
  • Greg Liodice breaks down this game and offers up his best bet below.

Penguins vs. Hurricanes Odds

Penguins Odds+176
Hurricanes Odds-215
Over/Under6 (-122 / +100)
Time7 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The Pittsburgh Penguins flew into Carolina late Friday night and face the Hurricanes on Saturday. The Penguins lost 4-1 at home to the Winnipeg Jets on Friday and will look to take their frustrations out on the first place Hurricanes. The Penguins have been struggling and are 3-5-2 in their past 10 games.

Had it not been for the Bruins, the Hurricanes would be tied for first in the East. Carolina’s been really good all season and is 6-3-1, including a convincing 6-2 win over the Blue Jackets, in its past 10 games.

Here’s a look at the odds, as well as our betting prediction for the Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Carolina Hurricanes.

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Pittsburgh Penguins

The ageless wonder Sidney Crosby hasn’t stopped playing at a high level and is averaging well over a point per game. Behind him, the usual suspects — Evgeni Malkin and Jake Guentzel — are still producing at a high level. The Penguins will be playing without veteran d-men Kris Letang, who is out due to a death in the family, and Jeff Petry.

It seems as if the Penguins continue to fall down in the charts. Once a top even strength team, the Penguins are now ninth in expected goals (53.14%) and average a little over 10 high danger chances per game.

Special teams is one of Pittsburgh’s specialties (pardon the pun). With the man advantage, the Penguins score at a 21.3% rate. They also hold the third-best penalty kill with an 84.5% success rate.

All Star netminder Tristan Jarry hasn’t been with the team since the Winter Classic, which means it’s been Casey DeSmith’s net. DeSmith will play Saturday since Dustin Tokarski played Friday.

DeSmith is what he is — a backup. Since taking the net, he’s posted a lowly .844 SV%. Throughout the season, he has a -2.6 goals saved above expected (GSAx) and a .904 SV%.

Carolina Hurricanes

There’s an abundance of talent to go around in Carolina. Sebastian Aho is the guy to look out for as he’s averaging a point per game, but Martin Necas has taken the next step and is leading the team in scoring. Brent Burns has been a welcome addition to the blue line and Andrei Svechnikov is always a threat, despite being goalless in six games.

For the past few years, the Hurricanes have dominated in their even strength attack. They’re by far the best team at 5-on-5 with a 60.31 xGF% and generate well over 11 high danger chances per game.

What’s surprising is Carolina isn’t that strong on the power play. With a man advantage, the Canes only score 19.3% of the time. On the penalty kill, they’ve managed to stay toward the middle with an 80% success rate.

The Canes goaltending situation is a little difficult to figure out with Freddie Andersen making a return. I don’t see Andersen playing since he just returned from injury, so that leaves either Antti Raanta or Pyotr Kochetkov.

Kochetkov has had an incredible rookie season, but struggled mightily after coming back from an injury (.842 SV%). Raanta could play to get back into a rhythm, but I don’t see goaltending to be a weakness moving forward.

Penguins vs. Hurricanes Pick

After watching Friday's game against the Jets, I couldn’t be more bearish towards the Penguins. They’re greatly missing Jarry and DeSmith is not the answer. Combine that stinker with playing after a late travel night and this has all the makings for a Hurricanes win.

Both teams are also low-scoring teams with high-end defenses. However, I think the Penguins will struggle defensively, especially since Letang and Petry won’t play in this matchup. Additionally, Carolina is one of the better teams at home with a 12-5-1 record while the Penguins are fairly average on the road with a 10-9-2 record.

It’s also worth noting, both Raanta and Kochetkov have exceptional records against the Penguins. Both present over a .910 SV% in their career against Pittsburgh, but DeSmith has a .934 career SV% against Carolina. Granted, his most recent game was this season, and he struggled.

Pick: Carolina Hurricanes 60 Minute Line (-122)

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