NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Penguins vs. Hurricanes (March 4)
Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Evgeni Malgin celebrates his goal on Thursday.
- The Hurricanes are favored over the Penguins on Friday night, though Carolina has dropped from -150 to -140 as action came in on Pittsburgh throughout the day.
- Both teams are playing on the second leg of a back-to-back after facing quality opponents last night, though those contests went very differently for these teams.
- Get Jonny Lazarus's full preview for Pens vs. Canes below.
Penguins vs. Hurricanes Odds
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings, updated Friday at 3:30 p.m. ET. Get up-to-the-minute NHL odds here.|
The Pittsburgh Penguins and Carolina Hurricanes are both playing for the second night in a row, but they had completely opposite performances in their respective games Thursday night.
The Penguins were on the road against the Tampa Bay Lightning and controlled the play for the entire 60 minutes, winning by the score of 5-1 and outshooting the Lightning 39-21.
The Hurricanes were on the road in Washington D.C. against the struggling Capitals, but the Caps were able to figure it out, defeating Carolina by the score of 4-0.
Penguins Trending in the Right Direction
The Pittsburgh Penguins are currently riding a three-game win streak, and a huge factor for the recent success is the play of their goaltender, Tristan Jarry. In his last two starts, Jarry has allowed only one goal on a total of 48 shots combined.
Since the Pens did play Thursday night, there is a chance that Mike Sullivan starts Casey DeSmith instead of Jarry. DeSmith played on Sunday in Columbus, where he stopped 32 of 34 shots and led the Pens to a 3-2 win over the Blue Jackets.
As good as the goaltending has been, Pittsburgh’s offense might be even better. The best players step up in big games and that’s exactly what happened for the Penguins in Tampa. Evgeni Malkin had a goal and two assists and Sidney Crosby and Jake Guenztel each had a goal and an assist.
The Penguins have scored nine goals during this three-game win streak and have generated a total of 105 shots on goal. Their opponents are struggling to slow them down and when their big guns are buzzing, there aren’t many teams that are better than the Penguins.
Hurricanes Looking to Recover From Bad Loss
The Carolina Hurricanes getting shut out doesn’t happen very often. They were able to generate 36 shots on goal Thursday night, but they couldn’t find a way to sneak one past Vitek Vanecek.
The Canes have now lost their second straight game, but the good news for them is that this matchup is on their home ice, where they are 19-4-2 this season. It is very likely that Antti Raanta will get the start in goal for the Canes since Freddie Anderson played Thursday night.
Raanta might be the backup, but he did beat the Penguins not too long ago. He got the start in Pittsburgh on February 20th when the Canes defeated Pittsburgh 4-3 in the Steel City. Raanta stopped 31 of 34 shots in that game, leading his team to the win.
Despite being shutout on Thursday, the Hurricanes have been one of the best offensive teams in the league all season. They typically average 3.41 goals per game and generate 33.2 shots on goal.
Penguins vs. Hurricanes Pick
We might see a battle of the backup goaltenders since the starters for each team played on Thursday in the first of back-to-backs.
The Penguins are trying to catch the Hurricanes for first place in the Metropolitan division and are looking like the dominant Pens team that we’ve seen for the last decade. They aren’t afraid of playing back-to-backs as they are 4-1 in their last five games on the second night of playing two days in a row.
Carolina is playing its third game in four nights so fatigue could play a major factor in this game. It’s also very hard to beat a good team twice in a row, especially a team like the Penguins.
I love the value on Pittsburgh as a road underdog in this contest, I think the Penguins can steal the two points and move closer to Carolina in the standings.
Pick: Pittsburgh Penguins ML +130
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