The Pittsburgh Penguins will have a quick turnaround from a thrilling game in which they came back from down a goal twice to beat the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 in overtime.
Pittsburgh has earned points in five straight games as they host the Florida Panthers, who also played Saturday in Buffalo, but their turnaround is not as quick because they played in the afternoon. Florida fell to the Sabres 3-2, but had won six of eight before that.
Panthers Fighting for Playoff Spot
The Florida Panthers come into play with a 21-15-5 record for 47 points. They are currently two points out of the second wild card spot behind Philadelphia. They have now lost two of their last three games after falling to the Sabres 3-2 on Saturday.
Mike Matheson and Evgenii Dadonov scored for the Panthers, who scored two goals in the third period after falling behind 3-0 earlier in the game. Chris Driedger came in to relieve Sergei Bobrovsky in the second period and stopped all 11 shots he faced.
He will likely start Sunday. Bobrovsky was pulled after allowing three goals on just seven shots. Driedger has played in just five games, but has a 3-1-0 record with a goals against of 2.00 and a save percentage of .938.
Dadonov has now scored in five of his last seven games and has moved into a tie for the team lead in goals with 17. Center Jonathan Huberdeau also has 17 goals and also has collected 38 assists for 55 points.
He also has a plus/minus rating of +12. Center Aleksander Barkov is also having a good season; he has scored 13 goals and 33 assists. After this latest setback, Bobrovsky’s goals against average has swelled to 3.33 and his save percentage is now .895.
Penguins Keep Playing Well Despite Injuries
The Pittsburgh Penguins come into play with a 25-11-5 record for 55 points. They currently sit in second place in the Metropolitan Division, six points behind the Washington Capitals.
They are currently in the midst of a five-game point streak and have won eight of their last 10 games despite being bitten hard by the injury bug. Saturday, the Penguins erased two one-goal deficits to win 3-2 in overtime. Winger Brandon Tanev tallied the winning goal in overtime.
Linemates Zach-Aston Reese also scored a goal, and Teddy Blueger had two assists. The Penguins are expected to give Tristan Jarry, who has become the starter with his solid play, the nod on Sunday. Jarry was left home Saturday to be fresh for Sunday’s game.
Jake Guentzel was leading the Penguins offensively with 43 points, but he will be lost for 4-6 months after having surgery on his injured right shoulder. Guentzel had earned his first all-star nod, but instead will begin the long rehab process.
Sidney Crosby has started skating with the team, but there is no timetable for his return. So, the Penguins will have to get production as a group with a number of their players that produce out for the foreseeable future.
Betting Lines and Predictions
MyBookie has a moneyline on the game of Pittsburgh -155. The Penguins are favored by 1.5 and the over/under is 6.5.
The Penguins keep finding ways to win despite all the injuries they have had to endure. Florida has been shaky in the last three games. Take Pittsburgh to win and cover, but take the under.