Vegas Golden Knights vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Moneyline, Total, and Odds
Moneyline: Golden Knights +150 | Penguins -182
Spread: Golden Knights +1.5 (-180) | Penguins -1.5 (+146)
Total: 6.5 Over +104 | Under -128
All NHL betting lines and odds are provided by FanDuel Sportsbook.
Odds to Win the Stanley Cup
Vegas Golden Knights vs. Pittsburgh Penguins News, Analysis, and Picks
The Vegas Golden Knights stock can’t get much lower. The once-mighty Knights have dropped seven of their past 11 decisions, with their only wins coming against the Ottawa Senators, Anaheim Ducks, and San Jose Sharks (twice). To make matters worse, they elected to start Laurent Brossoit last night, and Robin Lehner is injured, meaning third-string goalie Logan Thompson will be between the pipes for tonight’s contest against one of the best teams in the league — the Pittsburgh Penguins. Nevertheless, we’re anticipating a tightly contested battle in Friday night’s matchup.
There is a disconnect forming between the Knights’ outcomes and advanced metrics that suggest that they are progression candidates over their coming games. Even though they only have four wins against inferior competition, they continue to outplay their opponents on a nightly basis. Vegas has expected goals-for percentages above 50% in eight of their past 11, relying on tidy defensive zone coverage to limit opponents while their foes have attempted more than nine high-danger chances just once in their previous nine outings, with no team eclipsing 25 scoring chances.
Goaltending has let them down over that stretch, but Thompson could help them get back on track against the Pens. The young tendy made just the second start of his career on February 20 against the Sharks, stopping 35 of 36 shots to help the Knights to one of their four wins over the past few weeks. Thompson can earn more crease time with another strong performance that facilitates Vegas’ progression.
The Penguins play a similar system as the Knights, preventing opponents from gaining traction in their defending zone. Pittsburgh gives up an average of 8.3 high-danger and 21.3 scoring chances per game, limiting 13 of their past 19 opponents to below-average opportunities. The Pens aren’t a team to force the pace offensively either, instead, they play a more opportunistic style of offense and attempt nine or fewer quality chances in 11 of their previous 15.
Quality scoring chances will be at a premium as both teams lean into their strong defensive play. In a defense-first battle such as this, we’re anticipating overtime or a shootout before a winner is determined.
The Pick: 60-Minute Tie +340
All NHL predictions and picks are courtesy of SportsGrid.