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Minnesota Wild vs. Pittsburgh Penguins - 12/31/18 NHL Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Game
Pittsburgh Penguins (20-12-6) at Minnesota Wild (18-16-3)
Date & Time Monday December 31, 2018, 6:00 PM (EST)
Location
The Line
The Line: Minnesota Wild -124 / Pittsburgh Penguins +103 --- Over/Under: 5.5
TV Channel
FS-North
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The Pittsburgh Penguins and the Minnesota Wild meet in NHL action from Xcel Energy Center on Monday evening.

The Pittsburgh Penguins will look to extend their winning streak which currently sits at 5 games after a 6-1 thrashing of St. Louis in their last outing. Sidney Crosby opened the scoring for the Pens just :48 into the game, giving Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead after the opening 20 minutes of play. Juuso Riikola, Zach Aston-Reese and Patric Hornqvist scored 3 goals in a span of 4:12 in the second period to give the Pens a 4-0 advantage before St. Louis pulled a goal back to make it 4-1 at the 2nd intermission. Jake Guentzel and Evgeni Malkin each added a goal :33 apart early in the 3rd to give Pittsburgh an insurmountable 6-1 lead that they’d hold onto until the final buzzer. Matt Murray got the win to improve to 9-5-1 this season after stopping 30 of 31 shots faced in the winning effort.

The Minnesota Wild will look to build some steam after picking up a 3-1 road win over Winnipeg, snapping their 5-game losing streak in the process. Matt Barkowski opened the scoring for the Wild, giving Minny a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes of play before Charlie Coyle doubled the advantage early in the 2nd period. Winnipeg cut the deficit in the 3rd period, but Eric Fehr slammed the door shut with an empty-netter in the last minute of the final period. Devan Dubnyk got the win to improve to 13-13-3 this season after stopping 26 of 27 shots faced in the winning effort.

Pittsburgh is 5-0 in their last 5 games overall and 4-1 in their last 5 road games while the over is 6-1-2 in their last 9 games against the Western Conference. Minnesota is 1-5 in their last 6 games overall and 2-5 in their last 7 home games over is 3-1-1 in their last 5 games against the Metropolitan Division. The home team is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings between these two teams.

Minnesota at home is tempting given how much success the home team has had in this matchup recently, and that the win over Winnipeg may be the turning point for the Wild for a hot streak. However, I simply can’t turn down plus money with the way Pittsburgh has been tearing it up over the last couple of weeks. The Pens are simply on fire and have been getting the job done on the road as well which makes it even more impressive. I’m going to keep riding the Penguins until they start to cool off, so give me the plus money here.

Pick:
Pittsburgh +103

Chris has been a sports fan from when he was old enough to pick up a basketball and was a standout offensive lineman throughout high school and college. Chris uses that same instinct, determination and drive to analyze trends and statistics to find and produce winners on a consistent basis. Chris has been writing for Sports Chat Place since 2016 and covers a wide array of sports from college and pro football, college basketball, hockey and baseball.

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