Carolina Hurricanes (12-14-5) at Pittsburgh Penguins (15-12-3)
|Date & Time||Saturday December 19, 2015, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Pittsburgh Penguins -140 / Carolina Hurricanes +120 --- Over/Under: 5
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The Penguins look to snap out of their losing funk and shake off last night's beat down from the Bruins as they welcome the Hurricanes to town.
The Hurricanes head into Pittsburgh on Saturday looking to shake off a loss and pull to within a single point of the Penguins in the Metro division standings but know they will have a frustrated opponent on their hands that will be playing very desperate hockey in front of their home fans. Carolina isn't expected to do much this season and while they had been playing better of late and Jeff Skinner was on a tear in the process I don't see them as being much of a threat in the Eastern Conference and will likely end up with a favourable draft pick in the off season. Carolina is 6-8-2 on the road this season and will likely start Eddie Lack who will go up against a Pens team who is 8-6-2 at home and will be starting Matt Murray who will make his NHL debut.
The Penguins are in a tough spot right now as their play of late resulted in a coaching change and they haven't been able to respond since as they have lost three in a row under new direction and haven't looked good at all in the process losing a home and home set with the Bruins. Pittsburgh hasn't been able to score this season which has been their biggest downfall and biggest surprise thus far as they have two of the best players in the league on their roster and one of the best pure goal scorers in Phil Kessel who was supposed to push this team overt he edge. Instead, the Pens are in sixth place in the division and haven't looked great over the last two weeks and until they can prove on a consistent basis they are a contender again they are best to avoid. However, the Canes are just as bad so in this spot I think the total is the play and with two backups going at it I think we finally see some Pittsburgh goal scoring at the expense of the Canes.