The Pittsburgh Penguins haven’t looked like their usual selves to open the season. Things aren’t coming as easily to them, as younger teams are making them work for everything. It’s likely going to be even more difficult for some older teams to keep up as the season gets deeper and players have more wear and tear. However, experience can account for a lot when April rolls around. You may say but what about the Golden Knights?
They were an expansion team, but their leaders were guys that had experience before going to Las Vegas. Marc-Andre Fleury and James Neal already won Stanley Cups in Pittsburgh with the Penguins. I am sure the Pens wish they had Fleury right about now, though. It’s been a roller coaster with Matt Murray in net, with more downs than ups in 2018-19.
It was nice when they had the luxury of Murray and Fleury in net. Whenever either was struggling, they’d usually take a seat and let the other find a rhythm. It worked out more times than not, either Fleury or Murray stepped up. Casey DeSmith shouldered the load to snap a five-game losing streak for the Penguins on Saturday.
He shutout the Coyotes to steer the Pens to a 4-0 victory. The Pens will take on a Devils team who have hit a rut after a solid start in October. They’ve gone just 1-6 in their last seven games and 2-8 in the last ten. Keith Kinkaid was playing well, and then Cory Schneider returned off the IR and it has appeared to knock him off the steady path he was on. Neither have been able to keep the Devils float amid this trough stretch. Head below for our free Penguins vs. Devils pick.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. N.J. Devils Pick
It was an easy month to open the season for the Devils. It felt like they spent the entire month home in New Jersey. However, they’ve been paying for it recently, as the Devils have been on the road for seven straight games. Five of their next eight games in November will be played in a visitor’s arena. Not good news for a team who is looking to find a way out of a hole. What would help is some solid play from the blueline and goaltending.
Either Schenider or Kinkaid have to get hot for the Devils to get going. Schneider has been abysmal, with a 4.81 GAA and 0.849 save percentage since his return to the lineup. Likewise, Kinkaid just allowed 6 goals to the Maple Leafs to bring his GAA up to 2.86 and a 0.909 save percentage. What was once a positive has turned into a liability.
Overall, the Devils have allowed 3.6 goals per game. In their last ten, they have allowed 4.5 goals per game. They will take on a Penguins’ offence who may have gotten out of a hole against the Coyotes. They were struggling for five games, but still have an average of 3.4 goals netted per game. However, with a struggling Matt Murray, it’s been difficult to generate momentum.
Murray owns a 3.87 GAA and 0.886 save percentage. While DeSmith has played well enough, the Pens need Murray to figure it out. There has been an average of just over 7 goals scored per game in their last eight meetings, including 5-2-1 to the OVER. This should present a nice opportunity for the Pittsburgh playmakers to get involved plenty tonight. In any event, there should be enough goals to push this one OVER the total of 6.