According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, the Penguins are favored at home tonight, as they are getting odds of -190 to win. The Blues are listed with a money line of +165 on the road, while the over/under total for the contest has been set at 5.5 goals. The Blues have won six of their last 10 meetings with the Penguins. These two meet tonight from PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and the game will air live on NBCSN.
The Penguins claimed the Stanley Cup last season after posting a 50-21-11 record during the regular season in 2016-17. Pittsburgh had one of the best records at home, going 31-6-4. The team had a +48 goal differential last year. Sidney Crosby is back to lead the team after posting 44 goals and 45 assists as year ago. Evgeni Malkin also returns after posting 33 goals with 39 assists last season. The Pens expect to be without Patric Hornqvist tonight due to a hand injury. He has 21 goals and 23 assists in 2016-17.
The Blues reached the conference semifinals in last year’s playoffs before losing to the Nashville Predators, the eventual Western Conference champs. St. Louis went 46-29-7 during the regular season a year ago and had a +17 goal differential. The Blues were only 22-17-2 on the road. Valdimir Tarasenko led the team with 39 goals and 36 assists a year ago while Patrik Beglund was second on the team in goals with 23.
The Penguins are expected to be one of the top contenders for the Stanley Cup once again this season, returning most of its core from a season ago. The Penguins were a very difficult team to beat in Pittsburgh and I expect that to be the case again this season. St. Louis showed a lot in the postseason, but the Blues just don’t stack up night-to-night with Pittsburgh. The Pens are going to win this matchup far more often than they won’t. Take your chances on the home team.
NHL PREDICTIONS: PITTSBURGH PENGUINS -190