Pittsburgh Penguins at Los Angeles Kings Odds - Free Pick 12/5/2015
Two of the top teams in the NHL clash this Saturday afternoon at the Staples Center when the Pittsburgh Penguins go on the road to battle it out against the Los Angeles Kings. Game time for this inter-conference clash is set for 4 p.m. (ET) and it will be available on NHL Center Ice.
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Pittsburgh has been off since Tuesday's 5-1 road victory against San Jose as a +113 favorite, but this was just its second win over the last five games. The total went OVER the five-goal betting line against the Sharks after it stayed UNDER in three of its previous four games. Overall, the Penguins are 14-8-2 with a 6-4-1 record on the road and they are in fourth-place in the Metro Division with 30 points.
The five goals in Tuesday's win was a welcomed sight after Pittsburgh only managed to score a total of eight goals over its last four outings. Evgeni Malkin was the top star of that game with a goal and two assists. He now leads the team with 12 goals and 13 assists, but the Penguins are ranked 24th in the NHL in scoring with an average of 2.3 goals a game. The plus has been a defense that is ranked sixth in goals-allowed (2.3) behind goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. He has been between the pipes in 20 of 24 games this year.
Los Angeles continues to set the pace in the Pacific Division with 31 points behind a record of 15-8-1. It is now 9-5 at home this season following back-to-back victories against Chicago and Vancouver in its last two outings as a heavy home favorite. The total stayed UNDER in the Kings' 2-1 win against the Canucks on Tuesday after ending as a PUSH in last Saturday's 3-2 victory over the Blackhawks. The total has stayed UNDER or ended as a PUSH in six of their last seven games.
The Kings have been slightly better than Pittsburgh lighting the lamp this season with an average of 2.5 goals a game. Jeff Carter has led the way with a team-high 23 points (10 goals and 13 assists) and Tyler Toffoli comes into this game with 11 goals. Los Angeles' biggest strength this season has also been at the other end of the ice with goals-against average of 2.1, which is the second-lowest total in the league. Its top goaltender has been Jonathan Quick with a GAA of 2.21, although backup Jhonas Enroth has been impressive in five starts with a 1.17 GAA and a .962 save percentage.
The Penguins are 25-12 in their last 37 games against a team from the Pacific Division, but they are 0-4 in their last four Saturday games. The total has stayed UNDER in 18 of their last 26 road games.
The Kings are 6-0 in their last six Saturday games and they are 7-2 in their last nine games against a team with a winning record. The total has stayed UNDER in 14 of their last 26 home games.
The road team in this inter-conference matchup is 4-1 in the last five meetings and the total has stayed UNDER or ended as a PUSH in the last six games.
Pittsburgh Penguins at Los Angeles Kings Prediction
Both Pittsburgh and Los Angeles come into this matchup well rested which I believe will actually help each of these shutdown defenses keep the other team's offense in check. This makes my "best bet" pick in this game the UNDER 5 on the total line.