Detroit Red Wings (+120) at Pittsburgh Penguins (-130, 5.5 o/u)
The Detroit Red Wings (31-12-9) roll into Steeltown tonight to take on the Pittsburgh Penguins (30-15-8) at the CONSOL Energy Center (8:00 p.m. Eastern).
The Red Wings have been hot since early January, posting an 11-3 record in 2015 and winning three straight heading into tonight. In their last outing, Detroit downed the Arizona Coyotes (3-1) on Saturday, with Tomas Tatar netting the game-winner early in the third.
Detroit will rest starting goalie Jimmy Howard again tonight, meaning backup Petr Mrazek will be making his 11th straight start.
“Howie [Jimmy Howard] gets another week,” Detroit coach Mike Babcock told the team’s official website. “Howie will get an opportunity to get ready to go. Howie’s our starting goalie. There’s nothing wrong with practice. We like to win games. We play the guy who’s winning games.”
The Penguins will aim to bounce back after putting in a horrendous effort against the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday, getting shutout 5-0. They wound up outshooting Vancouver in the game, but that was thanks to a 14-3 edge in shots in the third period, when the outcome was already settled.
The Penguins have suffered from numerous injuries all season long – losing 236 man-games on the year, fifth-most in the league – but, with the return of Blake Comeau tonight, the team will be as healthy as it’s been in ages.
The Pens are Wings are both sitting comfortably in playoff spots at the moment. The Wings would move within one point of the Atlantic-leading Lighting with a win tonight, while the Pens would move within one of the Metropolitan-leading Islanders.
The home team has won the last three games in the series and all of them have gone over the game total. The last time the Red Wings won at the CONSOL Energy Center was back in 2011 when they smashed the Penguins 4-1.
With the Penguins finally healthy and eager to put the Vancouver game in the rear-view, Pittsburgh (-130) looks like better value.
(Photo credit: By Anna Enriquez (Flickr: Jimmy Howard) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo has been cropped.)
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