Pittsburgh leaning on energized Crosby early

Pittsburgh leaning on energized Crosby early

Sidney Crosby missed the first six contests of the season due to a concussion. Now, the two-time Stanley Cup champion’s making the rest of the NHL pay dearly.

Pittsburgh’s captain leads his team into battle against Anaheim tonight. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives the Penguins odds of -140 to prevail at Honda Center. Conversely, the host Ducks represent +120 underdogs.

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Having tallied four goals and an assist in three tilts since returning to the lineup Oct. 25, Crosby continues to demonstrate Hart Memorial Trophy-caliber play in Year 11. He’s also pushing the Pens to rarified heights. Mike Sullivan’s club currently sits near the top of the Metropolitan Division with 12 points, thanks primarily to the work of Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

The news gets even better this evening, too. Ascending goalie Matt Murray draws his first start of the campaign after recovering from a broken hand. The Ontario native, who staged a coming-out party in the 2015-16 playoffs, suffered the injury while competing for North America in the World Cup of Hockey.

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As for Anaheim, it blanked Los Angeles 4-0 a mere 20 hours ago. Considering the squad’s propensity for scoring droughts, however, we’re not exactly ready to provide an endorsement for the second straight evening. Expect Pittsburgh to exploit those tired legs in the third period, blowing open a largely spirited game.

WEDNESDAY NHL FREE PICK: PENGUINS/DUCKS OVER 5.5 GOALS

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