Pittsburgh vs Carolina by Sors
The Penguins are coming off a 5-2 win in Newark on Tuesday, second for Pittsburgh after 4-1 home win over the New Jersey Devils last Friday and tenth in thirteen games in December (10-1-2 57/32).However, more important for my bet is that Pittsburgh continues to impress in offense, especially at PPG Paints Arena, where the Penguins have totaled 76 goals in nineteen games this season (4.00 per game) and four or more goals in seven of their previous eight games here in December against Dallas (6-2), Detroit (5-3), Ottawa (8-5), Arizona (7-0), Boston (4-3 OT), Los Angeles (0-1 OT), the New York Rangers (7-2) and New Jersey Devils (4-1).
Sidney Crosby (c / 25+16) has four goals and three assists in his last four games, Evgeni Malkin (c / 15+26) - two goals and five assists, Phil Kessel (rw / 11+24) has two goals and two assists in this period.
Carolina is in obvious upswing lately, as after four defeats in their first six games in December, the Hurricanes have recorded four victories in the last five and seek back-to-back road wins for the first time this season.
These good results are backed by good efficiency in offense, as the Hurricanes have totaled 19 goals in their last five games (3.80 per game) and at least three goals in each of their last four road games in Anaheim (6-5 SO), Los Angeles (3-1), San Jose (3-4) and Buffalo last Thursday (3-1).
Matt Murray (13-3-1 with a 2.14 GAA and .928 SV%), who will start for Pittsburgh, is coming off the worst start in his career, as the 22-year-old goalie gave up six goals on 23 shots in the Penguins’ 1-7 loss in Columbus on Dec. 22.
Cam Ward (12-8-6 with a 2.24 GAA and .918 SV%) will start for the Hurricanes.Ward has gone 2-1-1 with a 2.72 GAA and .893 SV% over his last four starts on the road.
I expect more than five goals in that game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Carolina Hurricanes.
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