Leafs Penguins Pick – NHL December 16th

A tough night on Friday as we made two picks and came away winless while managing to push one of our two selections. The New Jersey Devils and Pittsburgh Penguins sat at 3-2 after two periods but a third period that saw plenty of scoring opportunities remained scoreless and our pick ended in a push with a 3-2 Penguins final. The Washington Capitals went on the road into Florida and came up empty in a shootout against a Panthers team that sank two of our picks last week. Very close to a productive night however that is the way things can go sometimes, but we will march forward and have a look at tonight’s action with four games on the NHL schedule.

Toronto Maple Leafs @ Pittsburgh Penguins

My Pick – OVER 5.5 (+105) @

The Toronto Maple Leafs, coming off of their biggest win of the season, will travel to Pittsburgh this evening to do battle with one of the hottest teams going in the NHL right now. The Leafs bounced back from an embarrassing 6-3 loss to the Blues on Thursday night to lay a beating on the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night with a convincing 7-3 victory at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. The Leafs’ schedule does not get any easier tonight however as the Penguins are on fire recently and have won eight of their past nine games overall.

The Penguins have put a stranglehold on the Metropolitan Division with their recent hot streak as they now sit eight points ahead of the second place Washington Capitals and have a one point edge on the Boston Bruins for top spot in the Eastern Conference. If the last game between these two teams was any indication of tonight’s matchup, then we are in for another thriller. The Maple Leafs built a 4-1 second period lead only to cough it up and end up losing the game 6-5 in a shootout. Both teams average 3 or more goals against each other in their last 10 head-to-head games, and the Leafs in particular have been playing in some high scoring games lately. Mentioned earlier was the 6-3 loss to the Blues and the 7-3 win over the Blackhawks, but before that was also a 5-2 loss to the Bruins and a 4-3 win over the Senators. The Leafs are averaging 3.4 goals per game over their last 5 games and averaging 4 goals against per game over that same stretch, giving up 20 total. This game will also feature two of the best powerplays so far this season in the NHL. The Maple Leafs are sitting at 24.3% and 3rd overall in the league, while the Penguins are at the top of the league with a 26.7% clip.

Although there are some injuries on both sides to some offensive players, I still like this game to be pushed OVER the 5.5 total. The OVER is 4-1 in Toronto’s last five games on the road and 14-6 in their last 20 games playing against Pittsburgh. The OVER is also 8-1 in these two teams last 9 games against each other in Pittsburgh. Let’s roll with the strong trends and expect another high scoring affair tonight from the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh.