Can Islanders Overcome Penguins in NHL Lines on Friday?

Can Islanders Overcome Penguins in NHL Lines on Friday?

Jordan Walters : Wednesday,January 3, 2018 7:01, EDT

Whenever both teams are playing the second of a back-to-back, you should always bet on the home side in the second game in 24 hours. That would be the New York Islanders on Friday night as they face two-time Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh. Be sure to check back at our online sportsbook for the latest NHL lines around game time.

How to Bet Pittsburgh at NY Islanders NHL Lines & Game Info

When: Friday, 7 PM ET
Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn
TV: TSN, AT&TSN, MSG+
Stream: NHL.com/tv
Radio: 105.9 Fm (Pittsburgh) / 88.7 FM (NY)
Opening NHL Lines: TBA

Latest NHL Betting Trends

  • Pittsburgh is 2-5 ATS in the last 7 games
  • Pittsburgh is 5-12 SU in its last 17 games on the road
  • The total went UNDER in 4 of Pittsburgh’s last 6 games
  • NY Islanders is 1-9 ATS in the last 10 games
  • NY Islanders is 2-5 SU in the last 7 games
  • The total went OVER in 17 of NY Islanders’s last 24 games

Why Bet on Pittsburgh’s NHL Lines?

The Penguins just can’t get on a consistent winning run as they continue to hang around .500. They would miss the playoffs as things stand and are closer to last-place Philadelphia in the Metropolitan Division than first-place Washington. Is it a Stanley Cup hangover or major problems?

Sidney Crosby has only one goal in his last nine games while Phil Kessel has one in eight, Jake Guentzel has one in 13 and Conor Sheary has a lone goal in 11. That’s four of the top-six.

Their 5-on-5 offense has been non-existent this season and they have no scoring depth to speak of beyond their top-two lines. If it takes 95 points to make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference — which it has in each of the past three seasons — the Penguins will need to collect 54 points over the next 41 games. That would be a .642 points percentage.

The only thing the Pens have excelled at thus far is the power play, ranking second at 25.0 percent. Pittsburgh was at least set for some good news on Tuesday with the expected returns of defensemen Justin Schultz and Kris Letang.

Neither Letang nor Schultz is having a career year. Letang is among NHL defenseman scoring leaders with 25 points in 37 games, but he’s a minus-15. Schultz has 10 points in 23 games after turning in a 51-point season a year ago. Both are elite puck movers, however, so their presence could help a struggling Penguins offense.

“When they’re not in our lineup, it’s fairly evident we don’t come out of our end zone as clean,” Coach Mike Sullivan said. “We don’t have the puck tape-to-tape as often. That’s what these guys bring to our team. They see the ice really well. They’re both mobile guys. They can get back to pucks quickly.”

GM Jim Rutherford is out there looking for the right trade. If Rutherford finds a deal he likes, he won’t be shy about pulling the trigger. He has made 160 deals in more than two decades as a general manager, and he shows no signs of slowing down. Rutherford has earned a reputation as a dealer who is not constrained by the calendar. He won’t wait for the trade deadline to make his big move.

Why Bet on NY Islanders’ NHL Lines?

The Isles are no sure thing to make the playoffs, either. They are a very good offensive team in averaging 3.4 goals per game but dead last in goals-against average and 30th on the penalty kill. The goalie play needs to improve. But there just aren’t many goalies available through trade that are better than Jaroslav Halak and Thomas Greiss.

The Isles currently have nearly $5 million in cap space, and 4 picks in the first 2 rounds of this year’s draft thanks to the Travis Hamonic trade to Calgary. With John Tavares’ pending free agency still the No. 1 story with the Isles, are they willing to make a trade to bring in the goaltender and/or defense they need to be a serious contender?

Winger Josh Bailey was selected as the NHL’s second star of the month for December. Bailey registered seven goals and 22 points in 15 contests. He made his way onto the scoresheet with at least one point 13 times during that span and concluded the month with a career-high 11-game point streak. Bailey is tied for first in the NHL with 38 assists and ranks second with 50 points. He’s already been named a Star of the Week twice this season.

The Isles have two great top lines but the bottom six has been a frustrating puzzle all season long. Brock Nelson is having his share of troubles centering the third line. One reason could be the multitude of wingers that Nelson has had this season as no one seems to be clicking with him. Nelson has nine goals but the Islanders need more from their third unit.

Are the Islanders a safe bet on Friday?

The latest attempt to address it features the recall of Tanner Fritz while Steve Bernier and Anthony Beauvillier (for the first time in his young career) were sent to Bridgeport of the AHL.  Defenseman Johnny Boychuk (lower body) could return to the Islanders blueline by mid-January. Boychuk has three goals and nine points in 34 games and leads the Islanders with 77 blocked shots.

The Isles lost 4-3 in overtime at Pittsburgh on Dec. 7 in the first meeting. Little-known Pens defenseman Matt Hunwick scored 1:29 into overtime. Phil Kessel, Jake Guentzel and Riley Sheahan also scored for Pittsburgh. Rookie Tristan Jarry made 23 saves for the Penguins. Jarry made a stick save on Bailey during a breakaway in overtime. Jordan Eberle, Mathew Barzal and Brock Nelson scored for the Isles. Halak stopped 28 shots.

Expert Prediction & NHL Pick for Friday

Well, going by my logic in the lead I have to take the Isles here as they are the home team in the back-to-back.