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Wild Card Battle? Penguins Gm78: Lines, Notes & Odds vs. Bruins



Pittsburgh Penguins game, Boston Bruins

And down the stretch they come. The Pittsburgh Penguins (43-23-11) are in a dogfight for third place because they have just three wins in their last 10 games. One of the teams they could be battling for wild-card position is the Boston Bruins (47-24-5), who are two points ahead of the Penguins with one game in hand. The Penguins betting odds reflect the uphill battle, too.

Should the Bruins claim the first wild card, the Penguins will need to finish third, ahead of the Washington Capitals (tied with the Penguins at 97 points), or face the Eastern Conference top seed Florida Panthers.

Thursday is the fourth and final game of Evgeni Malkin’s suspension for cross-checking Nashville defenseman Mark Borowiecki. Malkin has been skating in the Penguins lines during this slow week. The Penguins haven’t played since last Saturday when they lost to the Boston Bruins, 2-1 at TD Garden.

Boston scored two goals in the first 2:01, and the Penguins could never overcome the deficit.

Casey DeSmith gave up a couple of soft goals but rebounded to stop 27 of 29 shots. Danton Heinen scored the Penguins’ lone goal. However, the team managed just 24 shots.

Head coach Mike Sullivan is looking for consistency among his defensive pairings. Beginning Thursday, it appears he will go back to his original configurations.

Expected Pittsburgh Penguins Lines

Jake GuentzelSidney CrosbyBryan Rust
Jason ZuckerEvgeni MalkinRickard Rakell
Danton HeinenRyan PoehlingKasperi Kapanen
Brock McGinnSam PoulinDrew O'Connor
Brian DumoulinKris Letang
Marcus PetterssonJeff Petry
P.O JosephJan Rutta
Tristan Jarry
Casey DeSmith

Boston Bruins Lines, per Boston Hockey Now:

Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron– Jake DeBrusk

Taylor Hall – Erik Haula – Curtis Lazar

Trent Frederic  – Charlie Coyle – Craig Smith

Nick Foligno – Tomas Nosek – Marc McLaughlin


Mike Reilly – Charlie McAvoy

Matt Grzelcyk – Brandon Carlo

Derek Forbort – Connor Clifton


Jeremy Swayman

Pittsburgh Penguins Game Notes:

*The Penguins are 8-2-0 in their last 10 matchups against the Bruins at home and have scored four or more goals in seven of the 10 games.

*Pittsburgh and Boston have traded wins against each other over each of the last nine head-to-head matchups (4-5-0).

*The Penguins have allowed two or fewer goals in six of its last eight games against Boston.

*Mike Matheson (11G-18A) is one point shy of becoming just the fourth Penguins defenseman in the last 10 years (since 2012-13 season) to record 30 or more points with the team, along with Kris Letang (9x), Matt Niskanen (1x) and Justin Schultz (1x).

*Sidney Crosby has netted the game-winning goal in each of the last two wins and is up to a career-high-tying nine game-winners this season.

Pittsburgh Penguins Betting

For new DraftKings members, you win $150 when you bet $5 on the NBA playoffs. Click here to sign up.

The Penguins are a whopping +200 cover the puck line (1.5). That is tempting, and you know I like big odds. Even bigger are the odds for overtime (+310). But, we’re going to throw caution to the wind. The Penguins haveing not played in four days is a big factor.

The “Bet Against Dan and Make Money” bet of the day is take the Bruins and 5.5 Over. The combo bet on DraftKings pays +280.

DraftKings Sportsbook

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.

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Alan Smith
7 months ago

Pens have won 43 games and tonite will be 44! Bruins looked horrible in their last game with the Pens! The home game will be the difference! The season is was to long and they will respond when they have too!

Brandon o
Brandon o
7 months ago

They have control over their playoff seeding destiny once again. Every game left is very much winnable, tonight being the most important and toughest challange left. After 3 days off, everyone should be fired up for this one. This will tell us alot about how much fight they have left. This game needs to be a statement for the fans that are losing hope. Less then 2 weeks to build some much needed momentum, let’s go pens!

7 months ago

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for the ‘Mingue dynasty. #Lou-ieLou-ie

Last edited 7 months ago by Paul