SPORTS CHAT PLACE
The New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins meet Thursday in NHL action at the PPG Paints Arena. The New York Islanders look for a win after winning six of their last eight games. The Pittsburgh Penguins need a win after losing eight of their last 11 games.
The New York Islanders are averaging 2.7 goals per game and are scoring on 19.4 percent of their power play opportunities. Brock Nelson leads New York with 33 goals, Mathew Barzal has 35 assists and Noah Dobson has 173 shots on goal. Defensively, the New York Islanders are allowing 2.7 goals per game and are killing 84.9 percent of their opponent’s power plays. Ilya Sorokin has given up 102 goals on 1,394 shots faced, and Semyon Varlamov has allowed 77 goals on 896 shots.
The Pittsburgh Penguins are averaging 3.3 goals per game and are scoring on 21.1 percent of their power play opportunities. Jake Guentzel leads Pittsburgh with 35 goals, Kris Letang has 55 assists and Evan Rodriguez has 228 shots on goal. Defensively, the Pittsburgh Penguins are allowing 2.7 goals per game and are killing 85.7 percent of their opponent’s power plays. Tristan Jarry has allowed 135 goals on 1,672 shots faced, and Casey DeSmith has allowed 55 goals on 586 shots.
The Islanders are 4-0 in their last 4 Thursday games and 6-2 in their last 8 overall. The Penguins are 63-31 in their last 94 games as a favorite and 1-5 in their last 6 overall. The over is 4-1-2 in Islanders last 7 Thursday games. The over is 10-4-1 in Penguins last 15 home games. The Islanders are 15-36 in the last 51 meetings in Pittsburgh and 4-1 in the last 5 meetings.
The New York Islanders beat the Penguins a couple of days ago, so there’s some attractiveness in the underdog role here. However, the Islanders have had issues in the underdog role all year and aren’t a team I make a habit of getting behind. The Pittsburgh Penguins have been great in the home favorite role over the years and have a clear edge in this one. I’ll lay the reasonable price.