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NHL Odds, Pick, Prediction: Penguins vs. Islanders (April 12)

NHL Odds, Pick, Prediction: Penguins vs. Islanders (April 12) article feature image
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Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Pittsburgh Penguins standout Mike Matheson.

  • The lowly New York Islanders welcome the Pittsburgh Penguins to Long Island for Tuesday's NHL battle.
  • The Penguins are slight -128 ML road favorites to get the victory over struggling New York.
  • Grant White takes a deep dive into the game below and details why he likes Pittsburgh to triumph.

Penguins vs. Islanders Odds

Penguins Odds -128
Islanders Odds +105
Over/Under 5.5
Time 7:30 p.m. ET
TV ESPN+
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

Playoff races in the NHL are intensifying as we head into the last few weeks of the regular season.

Although not mathematically eliminated, the New York Islanders’ infinitesimal postseason hopes will eventually be extinguished. Still, they can adopt the role of spoiler as they try to knock other teams off their stride and down the standings ahead of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

However, the odds are against New York as it hosts Pittsburgh in Tuesday’s NHL action.

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Pittsburgh Penguins

Analytically, the Penguins rate as one of the best teams in the league. Pittsburgh ranks top 10 in most advanced metrics at 5-on-5, sitting ninth in Corsi rating, scoring chance and high-danger chance ratings. Those metrics culminate with the sixth-best expected goals rating in the league, which is third best among Eastern Conference teams.

Pittsburgh has amplified its metrics recently, outplaying three of its past four opponents and posting a cumulative 55.4% xG rating that’s above its season-long 53.4 percentage. Sidney Crosby and company are playing responsible hockey at both ends of the ice, attempting 26 or more scoring chances and 13 or more high-danger opportunities in three of four games.

Solid offensive play has been complemented with impenetrable defensive zone coverage, with opponents limited to nine or fewer high-danger and 25 or fewer scoring opportunities in all but one of those contests.

However, that hasn’t translated to wins for Pittsburgh, as it’s just 1-3-0 in that stretch and needed overtime against Nashville to secure its lone victory. The team’s recent performances are analogous to how things have gone this season, with the Penguins operating below their expected levels. We’re anticipating more wins to follow their strong performances, starting against the Islanders.

New York Islanders

The Islanders are trending upward over their recent sample, winning five of their past seven games. Yet, their victories are coming from unsustainable metrics, suggesting they’re due for regression.

New York has outplayed just two of its foes over its seven-game sample, with an xG rating of 45.0% during that stretch. The Islanders are being sunk with poor offensive showings, attempting more than 22 scoring and 10 high-danger opportunities just once in seven games. Combined with their inconsistent defensive metrics, they have out-chanced opponents in scoring opportunities once and quality attempts twice in that span.

Reconciling its metrics with outcomes suggests the Islanders should be entering a correction phase over its coming games. New York has elevated their PDO to 1.044 at 5-on-5 in that seven-game sample, putting it on track with an inevitable collapse.

Nine of the Islanders’ final 11 games come against playoff-bound Eastern Conference teams, but it’s unlikely they will keep pace with their opponents to end the season.

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Penguins vs. Islanders Pick

New York has been out-matched all season, and with regression anticipated, the rest of the season is nothing more than a formality for the franchise.

Conversely, the Penguins are progression candidates, as they look to build momentum for a successful playoff run.

This price is too short on Pittsburgh and we’d back it up to the -140 range.

Pick: Pittsburgh ML (-128)

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