NHL Hockey Betting: Ottawa Senators at Pittsburgh Penguins

NHL Hockey Betting:  Ottawa Senators at Pittsburgh Penguins&h=235&w=320&zc=1

The Ottawa Senators are off to a strong start this season at 3-1-0 and they’ll try to add to their win total tonight as they head to the ‘Steel City’ to take on the struggling Pittsburgh Penguins. The Penguins are 0-3-0 on the season and averaging only one goal per game–a scary statistical total for a team that was supposed to be a potent offensive side. The Pens have played some decent teams–Montreal, Dallas and the surprising Arizona Coyotes–but their lack of goal scoring is a sobering wake up call for a team that was expected to be one of the top offenses in the league.

To be fair, Ottawa’s wins haven’t come against the class of the league. Their loss was to Montreal but their wins were against Columbus, Buffalo and Toronto–these teams are a combined 1-7-1 heading in to Thursday action. Against all teams not named ‘Montreal’ the Senators have been scoring goals in bunches with 15 goals in their three victories. Craig Anderson will be back between the pipes tonight though the Senators have Andrew Hammond as a backup. Hammond is coming off an injury and is reportedly ready to play but so far the coaching staff has been reticent to rush him back into the lineup. Anderson has played capable hockey and with the Ottawa offense clicking that’s all he needs to do.

Pittsburgh is a mess and in the short term there’s no real evidence of a turnaround. They didn’t play badly against Montreal in their last game but that wasn’t enough to get a win. Goals might be easier to come by in this matchup but as every hockey fan knows when a team isn’t scoring it has little to do with the quality of opposing defenses or goaltenders. It’s like a hitting jinx in baseball–the problem is usually internal to the team and at some point it becomes more mental than anything else. At some point, they’ll put some pucks in the net but it’s unlikely to happen here. The teams have split their last six matchups with the Penguins holding a 2-1 advantage at home. Note the price–the Penguins are way overvalued based on their ‘brand name’ alone. We’ll take the Senators.


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