Pittsburgh (41-16-8) at Edmonton (35-23-8)
When: Friday, March 10th 2017
Where: Rogers Place, Edmonton, Alberta
Time: 9:05 ET | TV: ROOT Pittsburgh, Sportsnet West
Two of the best offensive stars in the league meet once again as Sidney Crosby’s Pittsburgh Penguins meet Connor McDavid’s Edmonton Oilers on Friday night, but it’s another star who’s on a red-hot tear right now. Evgeni Malkin recorded his sixth three-point performance of the season with two goals and an assist in Tuesday’s 7-4 victory over Winnipeg, increasing his overall point total to eight (five goals, three assists) during Pittsburgh’s three-game winning streak. The Russian star leads the NHL is points per game (1.21) and has 70 points in 58 games. He also scored in the Penguins’ 4-3 win over the Oilers on November 8th – a game in which Pittsburgh overcame a 3-1 deficit despite Crosby (NHL-leading 34 goals) being held off the scoresheet. Defenseman Justin Schultz, who spent his first 3.5 NHL seasons with the Oilers, will return to Edmonton tonight. Schultz has scored a goal in three straight games and added three assists, with four of the six points being recorded on the power play. Conor Sheary had a pair of assists versus the Jets for his second straight multi-point performance and also scored twice in the first meeting with the Oilers. Center Nick Bonino increased his point total to five (three goals, two assists) in his last three games by recording his second career hat trick on Tuesday to kick off the team’s five-game road trip.
McDavid, who is averaging 1.12 points per game, recorded three assists in the first meeting this season, but was held off the scoresheet for the first time in five games in a 4-1 loss to the Islanders on Tuesday. Benoit Pouliot feels he’s recovered from a bad fall in practice and will return to game action for the first time in nearly a month against the Penguins. Zack Kassian scored his team’s lone goal on Tuesday, dropping Edmonton to 1-1-0 on its season-high eight-game homestand. Edmonton has dropped three of their last five games overall and currently sit in the fifth spot in the Western Conference playoff race, just two points behind fourth-seeded Anaheim. The Oilers long homestand will also include visits from Montreal, Boston, and Los Angeles. Center Leon Draisaitl (team-leading 23 goals) has been limited to just one assist in his last four games after recording seven points (three goals, four assists) in his previous six.
We went with Pittsburgh the other night against Winnipeg because they were on fire offensively and they didn’t disappoint. Let’s stick with them one more time in which should be another high-scoring affair.
Pick: Penguins -115
HEAD TO HEAD
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