Penguins vs. Islanders Prediction
The Penguins can clinch a 10th straight postseason appearance with a win over the Islanders today at 1:00PM ET, but will New York thwart Pittsburgh's efforts?
According to oddsmakers from online sports book BetDSI, the Penguins are -125 money line favorites versus the Islanders, who have odds of +105 to pull off the upset at home. The total, meanwhile, is sitting at 5.5 goals.
Pittsburgh did two things in its 5-2 home win on Thursday that it has had trouble with in previous games: Start fast and score on the power play. The Penguins went 2 for 4 on the power play in the victory after going 3 for 29 (10.3 percent) in their previous eight games. Phil Kessel had two goals in the victory over Nashville.
Sidney Crosby has also been terrific, picking up an assist against the Predators that gave him at least one point in 16 of his past 17 games, a total of seven goals, 17 assists and 24 points. He's now in third place in the NHL scoring race and jumped into the conversation for the Hart Trophy.
As for the Islanders, they were dealt a huge blow when Travis Hamonic suffered a knee-on-knee collision with the Blue Jackets' Scott Hartnell in the first period on Thursday. He crumpled onto the ice and didn't return, meaning he could be out for the playoffs for the second year in a row. The injury forces coach Jack Capuano to reshuffle his defensive pairings, which is the last thing a team wants to be doing with the Penguins coming to town.
Pittsburgh is 8-1 in its last nine games following a win and 5-0 in its last five road games. The Pens should make it 6-0 after today.
SATURDAY NHL FREE PICK: PITTSBURGH PENGUINS -125