Stephen Nover Free NHL Sunday Play

On February 19, 2017, in Free Picks, NHL, by Stephen

Penguins minus 1 1/2 minus $1.05 hosting Red Wings

Pittsburgh isn’t playing up to its lofty standards of last season when it won the Stanley Cup. But the Penguins still have the best home record at 24-3-3.

I see the Penguins stepping up here on national TV against the Red Wings, who are tied for having the third-fewest points in the NHL. Not only are the Penguins a much superior team – 24 points better than Detroit – but the situation sets up well for them. The combination should ensure at least a two-goal Penguins victory. Certainly the bookmaker sees a blowout making the Penguin better than a 3-to-1 favorite at some places.

Now I won’t lay anywhere near that kind of high juice, but I do think there’s a good chance Pittsburgh wins by at least two goals. The Penguins have accomplished this during seven of their last nine victories. So I’m recommending a puck line play on Pittsburgh.

The Penguins are off a 2-1 overtime road loss to Columbus this past Friday. They trail first-place Washington by five points in the Metropolitan Division. A loss to the lowly Red Wings would be highly embarrassing and something they can’t afford.

Detroit ended a five-game losing streak by upsetting the Capitals, 3-2, in a shootout yesterday. The Red Wings took advantage of the Capitals coming off their bye week. Detroit is playing without rest and not helped by the early start time. The Red Wings will be without suspended Gustav Nyquist.

Pittsburgh lost defensemen Olli Maatta (hand) and Justin Schultz (concussion) to injuries this past Thursday. Star defenseman Kris Letang is used to playing big minutes, though, and the Penguins do have blue line depth with Steve Oleksy and Chad Ruhwedel. It’s a big plus, too, that Matt Murray is slated to be in goal. He has the second-highest saves percentage in the league.


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