NY Islanders (16-9-2) at Pittsburgh (15-11-3)
When: Thursday, December 7th, 2017
Where: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, PA
Time: 7:05 ET | TV: MSG-Plus, AT&TSN-Pittsburgh
Opening Odds: Pittsburgh -145/6
The New York Islanders will look to rebound from a bad outing last time out and stay ahead of the two-time Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins when the two teams meet on Thursday night. New York will be playing its third of a four-game road swing that saw them drop a 6-2 decision to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday despite another goal from Mathew Barzal. The rookie scored and set up a goal in the setback and now leads all NHL rookies with 26 points, and 12 of them (four goals, eight assists) have come in the last 10 games. The Islanders have won eight of their last 11 games to move a point ahead of Pittsburgh in the Metropolitan Division. The Penguins saw its four-game winning streak end with a 4-3 setback to the New York Rangers on Tuesday. Patric Hornqvist scored and set up a goal in the loss to extend his point streak to six games, during which he has four goals and as many assists. The teams split four meetings in 2016-17 and will meet for the first time this season.
Jordan Eberle continued to supply offense with his 11th goal of the season on Tuesday, giving him six points (four goals, two assists) in his last six games. Eberle has had success against the Penguins in his career, including recording two goals and an assist in a 4-3 setback at Pittsburgh on October 8th, 2016, while he was with the Edmonton Oilers. Barzal’s goal on Tuesday was New York’s ninth on the power play in the last 10 games, however the defense has allowed multiple short-handed goals in each of the last three games.
Defenseman Justin Schultz’s availability is in question against the Islanders after he sustained a lower-body injury versus the Rangers and was absent from Wednesday’s practice. Schultz has been held off the scoresheet in the last three games after recording five points (all assists) in his previous three contests. Should Schultz be unable to play, Chad Ruhwedel would slide into the lineup and be paired with Ian Cole (1 goal, 3 assists) on defense. The line of Jake Guentzel, Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel has combined for three goals and six assists in the last three games.
The Penguins are too big of a favorite here against a team that’s ahead of them in the standings. The Islanders are tied atop the NHL with 101 goals on the season and will pull out a victory here.
Pick: Islanders +120
- Islanders are 10-1 in their last 11 games following a loss of 3 or more goals.
- Islanders are 5-1 in their last 6 after scoring 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Islanders are 4-1 in their last 5 games playing on 1 days rest.
- Islanders are 20-7 in their last 27 after allowing 5 goals or more in their previous game.
- Islanders are 8-3 in their last 11 overall.
- Islanders are 13-5 in their last 18 vs. Eastern Conference.
- Islanders are 5-2 in their last 7 road games.
- Islanders are 10-4 in their last 14 Thursday games.
- Islanders are 7-3 in their last 10 vs. Metropolitan.
- Islanders are 3-7 in their last 10 in the third game of a 3-in-4 situation.
- Islanders are 6-15 in their last 21 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
- Penguins are 5-0 in their last 5 when their opponent allows 5 goals or more in their previous game.
- Penguins are 4-1 in their last 5 overall.
- Penguins are 4-1 in their last 5 when their opponent scores 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Penguins are 43-14 in their last 57 home games.
- Penguins are 7-3 in their last 10 Thursday games.
- Penguins are 49-21 in their last 70 vs. Metropolitan.
- Penguins are 66-30 in their last 96 games playing on 1 days rest.
- Penguins are 82-39 in their last 121 vs. Eastern Conference.
- Over is 4-0 in Islanders last 4 after allowing 5 goals or more in their previous game.
- Over is 4-0 in Islanders last 4 Thursday games.
- Over is 5-0-1 in Islanders last 6 vs. Metropolitan.
- Over is 4-0-1 in Islanders last 5 vs. a team with a winning record.
- Over is 6-1 in Islanders last 7 games playing on 1 days rest.
- Over is 5-1-1 in Islanders last 7 road games.
- Over is 4-1 in Islanders last 5 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
- Over is 4-1 in Islanders last 5 after scoring 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Over is 15-5-1 in Islanders last 21 vs. Eastern Conference.
- Over is 18-7-1 in Islanders last 26 overall.
- Under is 5-2-1 in Islanders last 8 in the third game of a 3-in-4 days situation.
- Over is 4-0-1 in Penguins last 5 home games.
- Over is 5-1-1 in Penguins last 7 overall.
- Over is 4-1-1 in Penguins last 6 vs. Eastern Conference.
- Over is 3-1-1 in Penguins last 5 when their opponent scores 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Under is 5-2 in Penguins last 7 when their opponent allows 5 goals or more in their previous game.
- Islanders are 17-36 in the last 53 meetings.
- Islanders are 7-22 in the last 29 meetings in Pittsburgh.
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