We go from one the hottest teams in the NHL, the Detroit Red Wings, to the coldest, the Pittsburgh Penguins. No that isn’t a typo, the Red Wings are hot and the Penguins are cold. If this was ten years ago and the 2008 Stanley Cup Final, then that may have seemed a bit more realistic. The Red Wings won the Cup over the Penguins that year, their last Stanley Cup. Meanwhile, the Penguins just enjoyed a championship in 2017, but the ship has seemed to be sinking fast.
With not even two months of the regular season in the books, we can’t draw that as a conclusion, but it’s been an ugly run for the Penguins. They are trying to find just their second win in eleven games tonight. The Penguins are on a horrid run of 1-9 in their previous ten games. Their most recent defeat came in overtime against the Buffalo Sabres on November 19th. Pittsburgh opened up a 4-1 lead and couldn’t hold on, as their defence struggled once again.
Sidney Crosby has been out most recently with an upper-body injury. He’s missed three games, but is nearing a return and could be as soon as tonight against the Stars. Crosby has gotten back to full contact in practice, which is a good indicator that he will be in the lineup for Pittsburgh on Wednesday evening.
He has been missed, especially his smarts on the defensive end. The defence has been eroding for the Penguins and they are in desperate need of a strong performance against the Stars tonight. They keep trying to get either Casey DeSmith or Matt Murray hot, but not much has been working. How they wish for Marc-Andre Fleury back. Head below for our free Stars vs. Penguins pick.
Dallas Stars vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Pick
The Stars are on the road for their third game in a row. They return home on Friday to play the Senators. Eight of their previous twelve games have been on the road and tonight will make it nine of thirteen. They’re on the heels of a 2-1 loss to the Rangers on Monday. The night prior, the Stars bashed in the Islanders for a final score of 6-2.
It’s been that kind of year for the Stars, who have looked like a really good team at times, and in other games there is no effort. Dallas enters Wednesday night with a record of 11-8-2, with five wins in their last ten games. Giveth and taketh away has been the theme of the Stars in 2018-19, rather more accurately, the last several years in Dallas.
They haven’t done anything necessarily great. Ben Bishop has been playing well as the starting netminder in net, but they haven’t been a team you can trust to look the same game to game. With the loss to the Rangers, they fell to 4-5-1 on the road this year. Averaging 2.81 goals per game, the Stars are 23rd in the NHL in scoring.
They will get a Pittsburgh defence that has gotten beat up for 3.9 goals per game in their last ten games. How long can this slop go on for? The Stars don’t care for playing in Pittsburgh, as their record of 2-8 in the last ten trips here indicates. With Crosby likely back in the lineup tonight, I expect the Penguins to find some solace with a win amidst one of their worst stretches in over a decade.