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After recording three defeats in their past four games, the New York Islanders (3rd in Metropolitan Division) are dropping by the Pittsburgh Penguins (6th in Metropolitan), who just notched a victory against Colorado…
Islanders Lose To Jets
Another fiasco was on the schedule for the New York Islanders (13-10-3), who lost for the third time in their past four outings (1-2-1) following a 3-1 defeat at the hands of the Winnipeg Jets at Barclays Center on Tuesday. Anders Lee (10 goals, 21 points this year) opened the scoring at the start of the third period, only for the visitors to light the lamp twice in a matter of 22 seconds shortly after, with a further empty-netter sealing the deal for the Jets three seconds from time. The Isles have now lost five of their past eight (3-4-1) and eight of their last 13 overall contests (5-6-2), but have still gone 7-4-2 on their own ice this year, currently sitting 3rd in the Metropolitan Division with 29 points from 26 fixtures.
Practice day ☑️
✈️ → Pittsburgh pic.twitter.com/I4rS8yUxip
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) December 5, 2018
Goalie Thomas Greiss, who stopped 21 shots against Winnipeg, has recorded a 9-5-1 total for the rolling year with a 2.39 GAA and a .925 save percentage. He has posted a 4-1-0 career tally versus Pittsburgh with a 2.57 GAA and a .920 save percentage, while Lee, who presently leads the Isles in goals, has collected seven strikes and four assists in 18 previous encounters with the Penguins. The Islanders, meanwhile, are scoring the 13th lowest number of goals per game (2.92), while conceding the 10th lowest quantity defensively (2.81). They are 28th in power play (15.0%) and 19th in penalty kill (78.0%).
Pens Get Back To Winning Ways
The Pittsburgh Penguins (11-10-5) ended a two-game losing skid (0-2-0) after snatching a 6-3 victory against the Colorado Avalanche at PPG Paints Arena on Tuesday. After letting a 3-0 first-period lead slip, with the Avs netting three consecutive goals in the second frame, a hat trick by Patric Hornqvist (12 goals, 19 points this year), the fastest one in Pens history in a matter of 2:47 minutes in the final third, gave the hosts their third win in the past five games (3-2-0). Pittsburgh has now gone 6-6-2 in its home outings this season, and is occupying the 6th place in the Metropolitan Division with 27 points from 26 games.
Fastest hat trick in Penguins history. Need we say more?
Here's another look ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/EhvBnSqPGE
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) December 5, 2018
In the absence of injured Matt Murray (4-5-1 on the year with a 4.08 GAA and a .877 save percentage), goalie Casey DeSmith, who made 42 saves against the Avs, has picked up a 7-4-3 season total with a 2.49 GAA and a .923 save percentage. He has faced the New York Islanders for just 24 minutes, allowing two goals on 16 shots in a relief performance during a 6-3 defeat for the Pens back on Oct. 30, while Sidney Crosby (29 points), who currently leads Pittsburgh with 14 strikes, has nabbed 35 goals and 75 assists in 64 past appearances against the Isles. The Penguins are 9th in most goals scored per game (3.42), 9th in most goals given up on average (3.27), 8th in power play (24.7%) and 6th in penalty kill (82.7%).
- Penguins are 1-8 in their last 9 games playing on 1 days rest.
- Penguins are 1-6 in their last 7 vs. Metropolitan.
- Islanders are 13-3 in their last 16 vs. Metropolitan.
- Islanders are 4-1 in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a losing home record.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Islanders have won 13 of their past 16 meetings against the Metropolitan Division and will be looking to improve in that regard even more while visiting the Penguins, whom they have already beaten twice this season and on the last three overall occasions, dating back to last year. The Pens have been unusually inconsistent so far during the ongoing campaign, have just one win versus teams from the Metropolitan Division in the last seven encounters, and have lost eight of their past nine outings played on a single day’s rest. It is difficult to trust in Pens these days!
Prediction: New York Islanders
Full-Game Total Pick
A minimum of seven strikes for the Over? Erm, no, thanks! Four of the very last five encounters between the two sides have already finished below the seven-goal mark, averaging just 4.5 strikes per fixture. The Penguins, meanwhile, have gone below the total of 6.5 in eight straight home outings against teams with a losing road record, while the Islanders have made it quite low-scoring in their last five contests overall.
Prediction: Under 6.5