NHL Odds: Minnesota Heads to Pittsburgh to Face the Pens. This Thursday at 7 PM ET, the Pittsburgh Penguins welcome the Minnesota Wild to town, with both teams looking to secure the final Wild Card position in their respective conferences. Both squads have grabbed hold of the New Year, and look poised to make a second-half run.
The Pittsburgh Penguins (25-21-3) struggled with consistency throughout the first half of the season, but with the turn of the calendar to 2018, the Pens have hit a new level. They’re 7-3-0 in the month of January, and have drawn within a point of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Over that stretch, the Pens have surrendered just 2.33 goals per game, and have outscored their opponents 34-22. They’ll need to maintain that improved defensive play if they hope to top the Wild on Thursday.
Minnesota (26-17-5) has also thrived in 2018. They’ve gone 6-1-2 in the New Year, and have seen their star goaltender, Devan Dubnyk, take the team on his back. The Wild have allowed two or more goals just three times over their last nine, and Dubnyk’s already impressive stats have gotten stronger (2.59 goals against average, .919 save percentage). Dubnyk will need to be at his best against the high-scoring Pens. Don’t miss the action.