Kings vs. Penguins NHL Pick – December 15th





<p>The Pittsburgh Penguins are fresh off a 5-3 win over the Boston Bruins on Friday night. Casey DeSmith delivered a sharp performance in net, as he sent back 48 of 51 shots. The Bruins wouldn’t let up, but DeSmith had an answer for almost everything. The offence took care of the rest for the Penguins, as the Pens buried the Bruins for 5 goals. The 5th goal being an empty netter to clinch the win and give them their 14th win on the season. </p>
<p>Pittsburgh go into Saturday with a record of 14-11-4. They’ve been shaky at moments this season, but we’re still in the early stages of the year, and they are still in a decent position. It’d feel awfully weird without the Penguins in the playoffs. Fortunately for the Pens it’s only mid-December, though. </p>
<p>With DeSmith getting the start between the pipes last night, the attention will turn to Matt Murray. And there will certainly be attention on Murray, who was struggling before he got injured. Meanwhile, DeSmith has been picking up some momentum and playing solid hockey in net. </p>
<p>So, pressure is going to be on Murray to perform well. His starting job is on the line. If he can’t figure it out quickly, DeSmith is going to be right there to shed the backup tag from his name. Murray doesn’t get the best of offences to play against this evening, so this should be a nice opportunity to wean him back into the lineup. There will be added pressure to play well vs a poor offence, though, so it could be a double-edged sword. The Kings are on a three-game losing streak and have lost five of their last six games. Get our free Kings vs. Penguins pick below. </p>
<h2 class=L.A. Kings vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Pick

The Kings have been one of the most frustrated teams in the NHL. Drew Doughty has made that known more than on one occasion. He’s trying to light something underneath this team, but it hasn’t seemed to matter much, because they continue to go backwards. Going sideways at this point would be a step in the right direction.

While Doughty is frustrated, everyone can play better on this team and that includes Doughty, along with the defence. Jonathan Quick? Yes, you can stop a few pucks here and there as well. Although, his team is leaving him out in a bad spot. The offence has been absolutely putrid with only 2.15 goals per game.

That easily puts them in last place in the league and it isn’t even close. The Ducks are 30th and they have averaged 2.55 goals per game, so there is a wide gap between really bad and bad. When the Kings hit the road, it goes from really bad to embarrassing. They have managed to score just 1.67 goals per game on the road in the 2018-19 campaign. Yikes. It’s particularly bad in this era with goal scoring up considerably.

Jonathan Quick enters Pittsburgh on Saturday night with a 3.30 GAA and 0.892 save percentage. We can talk about how bad the offence is, but their effort on the blue line and in net hasn’t been anything to get excited about either. Pittsburgh have scored 3.56 goals per game at home this season, and while their defence has struggled, the Kings have had difficulties finding more than 2 goals in games this season. This should present Murray with a good chance to show that he can still be a starting goaltender. The Pens are on a back-to-back, but the Kings are in the midst of a tricky schedule on the road. This looks like a 4-2 or 5-2 win for the Penguins tonight.

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Kyle E / Author

Kyle is a veteran of The Sports Geek and has spent nearly a decade providing accurate sports picks and writeups here. He has been a sports handicapper for 10+ years and started sharing his picks and thoughts in 2011 at The Sports Geek. His expertise spans across multiple sports, including the NFL, NCAAF, MLB, and the NHL. Prior to writing for The Sports Geek, Kyle was a fantasy football expert, who ultimately parlayed it into a successful sports betting career. You can find his picks daily at The Sports Geek.