Detroit hopes to hold off surging Pittsburgh
So far this season, nothing has been easy for the Red Wings. Add tonight’s matchup against the explosive Penguins to the list.
The two Eastern Conference stalwarts drop the puck at 7 p.m. ET in the Steel City. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives Mike Sullivan’s club odds of -240 to prevail at home. Conversely, Detroit enters PPG Paints Arena as a +200 underdog.
Despite being decimated by injuries, Jeff Blashill’s troops have remained competitive in the Atlantic Division. Justin Abdelkader became the latest casualty on Thursday. The power forward left the Wings’ 2-1 overtime loss to Florida with a sprained MCL. He joins goalie Jimmy Howard and key role player Darren Helm, among numerous others, on the shelf.
Meanwhile, Pittsburgh (14-7-3) is taking full advantage of its largely clean bill of health. The Pens come off a 6-2 rout of Dallas. When notching at least three tallies this year, they’re 13-1-1.
In 2015-16, Sidney Crosby & Co. swept the three-game season series. We can’t imagine a starkly different result here. Detroit’s (11-10-3) simply too dinged-up to keep pace with such a high-octane opponent for a full 60 minutes.
SATURDAY NHL FREE PICK: PENGUINS -1.5