St. Louis Blues (52-34-7) at Pittsburgh Penguins (66-28-13)
|Date & Time||Wednesday October 4, 2017, 8:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Pittsburgh Penguins -190 / St. Louis Blues +265 --- Over/Under: 3.5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
The St. Louis Blues look to spoil the party in Pittsburgh on Wednesday night as the two time defending Cup champions celebrate their latest quest at home on opening night.
The Blues head into the NHL season looking to make a statement as a league power house once again but they will have to do so with a victory on the road against the defending Cup champions who will be celebrating with a banner raising and surely a raucous crowd. The Blues have been in the mix in the NHL playoffs over the last handful of seasons and while they still have some of the same personnel I do think they are due for a regression as they are a bit thin up front beyond their top line and will need a strong season from Jake Allen if they’re going to stay in the hunt in a very competitive Central division. The Blues are strong at the back but will have to contain one of the league’s best teams, players, and offenses on opening night, and while I expect this one to take some time before it opens up I think the Blues could find themselves in big trouble if they conceded the game’s first goal.
The Penguins meanwhile look as strong as ever, and while it is almost unfathomable to think they can three peat as league champions they are certainly capable as they are loaded across the board once again. The Pens are led by Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Phil Kessel up front and with the emergence of Jake Guentzel in last year’s playoffs the offense just keeps coming for the Pens who shouldn’t have any issues scoring again this season. This is officially Matt Murray’s team now as Marc-Andre Fleury is now with the Vegas Golden Knights and while Murray has struggled with some injury concerns he has proven he can be an every day goaltender and be one of the best when he is consistently on the ice, and this season should be another step forward for the young netminder, and that includes a strong effort on opening night.
The Blues are 12-5 in their last 17 road games and 21-9 in their last 30 overall while the Pens are 39-12 in their last 51 home games and 4-1 in their last five Wednesday games. This should be an exciting opener but in the end the Penguins are simply a class ahead of the Blues and Pittsburgh should cruise to a regulation victory.