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Panthers vs Penguins – Breakdown and Prediction

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports/Sipa USA – Photo by Icon sport

Panthers vs Penguins: A matchup between two defensive teams

The Florida Panthers are visiting the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday at PPG Paints Arena.

The Panthers are going after the top seed in the conference

The Florida Panthers are third in the Eastern Conference with a 33-15-4 record, four points shy of the leading Boston Bruins. The Panthers have won six of their last seven games and are coming off a 4-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche. They are the second-best defensive team in the league, allowing 2.50 goals per game, and are ranked 13th, scoring 3.19 per game. Sam Reinhart is the best player on the Panthers, being ranked second in the league with 39 goals and 11th with 64 points.

The Penguins need to step up

The Pittsburgh Penguins are 12th in the Eastern Conference with a 23-19-7 record and have played at least three games less than the competition. They are the only team in the bottom half of both conferences with a positive goal differential. The Penguins have lost the last two games and are coming off a 2-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets. Pittsburgh is fifth in the league, allowing 2.63 goals per game, and stands 25th in the NHL, scoring 2.90 goals per game. Sidney Crosby leads the Penguins with 52 points.

Head-to-Head

Pittsburgh has played under the total goal line in their last 5 games overall, in 4 of the last 5 against Florida, in 5 of the last 6 home games and 5 of the last 6 against Eastern Conference opponents. Florida has played under in 4 of their last 5 games overall, in 4 of the last 6 games against teams from the Metropolitan Division and 6 of the last 7 games against teams from the Eastern Conference.

Prediction and Conclusion

Both teams are among the top five defensive squads in the league. The Penguins will need to step up immediately as they are sliding in the standings in the East. Florida is doing much better, and they have a chance to get on top of the standings. Anyway, this will be a tough game with a lot of contact and not a lot of scoring. Four of the last five games between the two have finished under the total goal line, and that will be the case tonight as well, with the line being set at 6 goals.

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