Las Vegas NHL Betting Predictions: Pittsburgh Penguins at Florida Panthers
Saturday, April 13, 2013
by Tomas Lopez
After sputtering to get acclimated to several key cogs in the offense, the Pittsburgh Penguins vie for their 19th win in 21 outings when they visit the Florida Panthers on Saturday. Jussi Jokinen collected two goals and an assist while Pascal Dupuis registered his second straight three-point performance in Pittsburgh's 6-3 triumph over Tampa Bay on Thursday. The Atlantic Division-champion Penguins hold a five-point advantage over Montreal for the top spot in the Eastern Conference but trail Chicago by four in the race for the Presidents' Trophy.
Florida likely isn't concerned with the standings at this stage of the game. The Panthers, who are tied with Colorado for an NHL-worst 32 points, suffered a 7-2 setback to Southeast Division-rival Winnipeg on Thursday. Tomas Fleischmann collected a goal and an assist versus the Jets to extend his point streak to seven games.
Pittsburgh Penguins (31-10-0): Although Pittsburgh has skyrocketed atop the conference, coach Dan Byslma openly has worried if his team has a tendency to look past a struggling opponent. "It's a scenario you certainly worry about," he said. "Some of the players have come out and said that it's gut-check time. It's a challenge, in that regard."
Florida Panthers (13-21-6): Tomas Kopecky, who leads Florida with 15 goals, recorded his first career hat trick in the team's 6-4 home victory over Pittsburgh on Feb. 26. The tallies were Kopecky's first three while playing in his 10th career contest versus the Penguins. Rookie Jonathan Huberdeau has recorded seven points in his last seven contests but has been held off the scoresheet in both outings versus Pittsburgh.
1. Reigning Hart Trophy winner Evgeni Malkin has scored in back-to-back games.
2. Florida boasts a potent power play (21.3 percent) but is an NHL-worst 74.6 percent on the penalty kill.
3. Pittsburgh RW Jarome Iginla has notched three assists in his last two contests. He had been held off the scoresheet in four of his previous five games.
NHL Hockey Prediction: Penguins 4, Panthers 1.