NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Penguins vs. Islanders

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Penguins vs. Islanders article feature image

Rich Graessle/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Ilya Sorokin

  • The Penguins hit the road for a game against the Islanders on Friday night.
  • Not only are these teams close in the Eastern Conference standings, but they've each also won three of their past four, so this should be a competitive matchup.
  • Continue reading for Jonny Lazarus' best bet and analysis.

Penguins vs. Islanders Odds

Penguins Odds-104
Islanders Odds-115
Over/Under5.5 (-120/+100)
Time7 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The Pittsburgh Penguins, who have won three of their past four games, head to Long Island to face a struggling Islanders team. Not only have the Islanders lost three straight games, but each of those losses was against weaker competition.

The Islanders are trying to catch Pittsburgh and considering that there are only two points separating these teams, this game has a ton of implications.

The Penguins are returning to the East Coast after their West Coast road trip, but they have played a ton of hockey and have traveled quite a bit over the past few days, so this is a great spot for the Islanders to take advantage of Pittsburgh's fatigue.

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Pittsburgh Penguins

The Pittsburgh Penguins are still missing their top, Tristan Jarry, but Casey DeSmith has stepped in and done a solid job. That being said, the Penguins will certainly be outmatched in the goaltending department in this contest.

Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin have been leading the way lately for Pittsburgh. Crosby has five points (1g, 4a) in his past five games and Malkin has seven points (2g, 5a) in that same span. As a team, the Penguins have been a tad inconsistent when it comes to offensive production, but they are right in the middle of the league, averaging 3.23 goals per game.

DeSmith is 10-11-4 with a .907 save percentage and a 3.21 goals against average. He's been okay, but the Penguins are going to need him to be much better if they want to hang onto their playoff spot.

The Penguins have not been very successful in their recent trips to Long Island. They are 1-4 in their past five contests, but are hoping to change the luck this time around.

New York Islanders

The New York Islanders need to get out of this slump before they dig themselves into too deep of a hole in the standings. They've lost three straight games, two of which were on home ice, but the most frustrating part about these losses is that they have all been by just one goal. If some bounces had gone the Islanders way, it could have been three straight wins.

Ilya Sorokin is expected to get the nod once again. The past few games haven't been his best, but he has been able to bounce back all season. The last time Pittsburgh came to town, he made 20 saves and led the Islanders to a 5-1 victory. Despite the tough stretch, Sorokin has had a phenomenal season, boasting a .923 save percentage and a 2.40 goals against average.

Bo Horvat, Mathew Barzal and Brock Nelson have been playing well, but they still need help from the bottom six forwards. On the bright side, the Islanders power play has scored in three straight games. New York will need a balanced attack at 5-on-5 and in special teams.

Penguins vs. Islanders Pick

Neither of these teams has been consistent this season, but I have to think fatigue will be a major factor in this game for the Penguins after the long West Coast trip.

The Islanders certainly have the edge in goal in this game as I would definitely take Sorokin over DeSmith, but New York needs to tighten things up defensively since it has looked a bit sloppy lately.

The Penguins have struggled in divisional games lately, going 0-6 in their past six Metropolitan Division contests. They have also struggled against the Islanders in recent history, going 2-5 in the past seven meetings between these teams.

The home team is also 4-1 in the past five meetings between these teams and I am going with the home team again.

I think the Islanders figure it out and win the game.

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