Penguins vs. Islanders NHL Pick – December 10th

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<p>The Pittsburgh Penguins and Steelers have something in common recently. They both just had bad losses and don’t look like playoff teams. It’s crazy to think that we may not see either of them in the playoffs, but one or both might be sitting the postseason out. The race in the AFC is still wide open, especially with the Patriots and Texans both losing on Sunday, so don’t count them out despite an ugly performance yesterday. </p>
<p>As far as the Penguins are concerned, they have to hope somebody can catch fire in net. I don’t foresee their defence improving much between now and then, but they could get fortunate with a hot goaltender. Matt Murray has been on the IR the past few weeks, and even when he was healthy and starting, he was icy cold between the pipes. The Pens have been getting better production out of Casey DeSmith, though he hasn’t exactly been a game saver.</p>
<p>It’d sure be nice to have Marc-Andre Fleury as an option in Pittsburgh. Instead of protecting Fleury in the expansion draft, they let him go in favour of Murray. It made sense at the time. Murray is cheaper and looked like he was in for a good future as the fulltime starting goaltender. </p>
<p>He can still be that and help the Pens this season. However, Murray must be better when he returns. DeSmith will likely be with the go-to guy for the Penguins tonight. He played well against the Senators, but the offence couldn’t find anything in a 2-1 loss in overtime. The Penguins have been scoring goals this season, and the Senators haven’t been able to stop anyone, so it was a weird night. The Pens stay on the road for Monday night, as they arrive in Brooklyn to face the Islanders. This is a rematch of a recent 6-2 win for the Penguins in Pittsburgh on December 6th. Get our free Penguins vs. Islanders pick below. </p>
<h2 class=Pittsburgh Penguins vs. N.Y. Islanders Pick

The Penguins were stymied by Craig Anderson in their last outing. He sent back 35 shots in a standout performance for Anderson. There wasn’t anything wrong with DeSmith either, as he stopped 27 shots and 1 goal allowed in regulation, which is usually going to be good enough with the offence that the Penguins have. For all that has gone wrong with their defence in 2018-19, they can’t be blamed for that loss.

Pittsburgh are 8th in the league with 3.43 goals per game. In a normal year, that’s a pretty elite number, but with goal scoring up it doesn’t get them in the top-5. Nevertheless, that should be good enough to find success with. Since DeSmith has been the starter, their numbers defensively have improved, though. DeSmith owns a respectable 2.42 GAA and 0.922 save percentage. As a team, they’re 22nd with 3.18 goals allowed per game. They’ve actually improved on the road, with 2.77 goals allowed per game compared to 3.18 overall.

However, the Penguins have gone just 1-7 on the road in their previous eight games. Ugly streaks like that are kind of shocking to see with this Pittsburgh team, but they’ve been stuck in mud with a record of 12-10-4 thus far. Patrick Hornqvist hopes to get back on the ice after missing Saturday against the Senators. The Islanders are coming off a 3-2 loss to the Red Wings in Detroit. I think the Penguins stand a better chance of getting it back. It’s difficult to hold them down in consecutive games. Edge Pittsburgh in Brooklyn on Monday night.

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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.