Pittsburgh (24-19-3) at Anaheim (20-16-9)
When: Wednesday, January 17th 2018
Where: Honda Center, Anaheim, CA
Time: 10:05 ET | TV: NBC Sports Network
Opening Odds: Anaheim -115/5.5
The Pittsburgh Penguins have put the 2017 part of the season behind them and are off to a terrific 2018 as they try and get back to defending their Stanley Cup title. Pittsburgh will begin their three-game California swing when they visit the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night on NBC Sports Network. Phil Kessel recorded the game-winning goal in both victories of the weekend, giving the Penguins a season high-tying four-game winning streak. Kessel finished with five points (two goals, three assists) in victories over Detroit on Saturday and the New York Rangers the following day. The NHL’s Third Star of the Week boasts 10 points in the six games this month to maintain his hold on the team lead in goals (20), assists (32) and points (52). Anaheim opens a five-game homestand and have lost three of four on the heels of a stretch that saw it win five of six, highlighted by an impressive 4-0 victory in Pittsburgh on December 23rd. Chris Wagner recorded his first point since November 29th by scoring his team’s lone goal in Monday’s 3-1 loss to streaking Colorado. Pittsburgh owns the top-ranked power play in the league (26.5 percent) and have scored 12 times in its last 11 games, while the Ducks boast the NHL’s fifth-ranked penalty kill (83.9).
Kessel, who has scored in three straight games and owns a four-game point streak (three goals, five assists), is not the only Penguin who has gotten hot. Captain Sidney Crosby has scored in back-to-back games and has points in four straight to increase his January total to 12 points (three goals, nine assists). Forward Evgeni Malkin has also reached double digits in points this month (five goals, five assists) for a Pittsburgh offense that has exploded for 24 goals in its last six games after managing just 10 in the final six games (2-4-0) of December. Goaltender Tristan Jarry has benefited from the surging offense, winning a career high-tying four straight starts and recording one shutout to go along with a .928 save percentage in January.
John Gibson returned to his hometown of Pittsburgh last month and delivered a spectacular performance, turning aside all 29 shots he faced in Anaheim’s 4-0 romp. Gibson owns a .938 save percentage over his last seven games overall (4-2-1), but is just 8-8-2 with a 2.61 goals-against average at Honda Center this season. Rickard Rakell scored and set up a goal in the first meeting with the Penguins, but has just one assist in his last four games after recording seven goals and three assists in his previous six. Center Andrew Cogliano might want to check out http://dreamzcasino.com on Wednesday night, as he serves the second contest of a two-game suspension for interference on Los Angeles F Adrian Kempe, ending the longest active game streak in the league.
The Penguins are starting to get hot again, but they have all kinds of trouble against Western Conference teams. Pittsburgh is just 1-7 in their last eight against the other conference and the home team in this series has captured 13 of the last 19 affairs.
Pick: Ducks -115
- Penguins are 4-0 in their last 4 overall.
- Penguins are 4-1 in their last 5 when their opponent scores 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Penguins are 4-1 in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a losing home record.
- Penguins are 7-2 in their last 9 after scoring 5 goals or more in their previous game.
- Penguins are 9-3 in their last 12 games playing on 2 days rest.
- Penguins are 7-3 in their last 10 Wednesday games.
- Penguins are 59-29 in their last 88 vs. a team with a losing record.
- Penguins are 2-5 in their last 7 vs. Pacific.
- Penguins are 5-13 in their last 18 after allowing 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Penguins are 1-7 in their last 8 vs. Western Conference.
- Ducks are 4-1 in their last 5 after scoring 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Ducks are 4-1 in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400.
- Ducks are 10-4 in their last 14 Wednesday games.
- Ducks are 2-5 in their last 7 when their opponent scores 5 goals or more in their previous game.
- Ducks are 4-13 in their last 17 vs. a team with a winning record.
- Ducks are 2-11 in their last 13 when their opponent allows 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Under is 6-2 in Penguins last 8 games playing on 2 days rest.
- Under is 3-1-1 in Penguins last 5 road games.
- Under is 9-3 in Penguins last 12 after scoring 5 goals or more in their previous game.
- Under is 3-1-1 in Penguins last 5 vs. Western Conference.
- Under is 9-4 in Penguins last 13 vs. Pacific.
- Under is 11-5-2 in Penguins last 18 games following a win.
- Under is 4-0 in Ducks last 4 games playing on 1 days rest.
- Under is 3-0-1 in Ducks last 4 Wednesday games.
- Under is 2-0-2 in Ducks last 4 home games following a road trip of 7 or more days.
- Under is 5-0 in Ducks last 5 when their opponent allows 2 goals or less in their previous game.
- Under is 7-1-1 in Ducks last 9 home games.
- Under is 20-7-1 in Ducks last 28 when their opponent scores 5 goals or more in their previous game.
- Under is 19-7-1 in Ducks last 27 overall.
- Under is 5-2 in Ducks last 7 vs. Eastern Conference.
- Under is 12-5-1 in Ducks last 18 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400.
- Under is 18-8-1 in Ducks last 27 vs. a team with a winning record.
- Penguins are 7-2 in the last 9 meetings.
- Home team is 13-6 in the last 19 meetings.
Trends courtesy of SportsOptions.com – an UltimateCapper.com partner