Pittsburgh -135 at Winnipeg O/U 5.5
The Winnipeg Jets host the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins tonight in a battle of two superstar scorers; veteran captain Sidney Crosby and Jets rookie phenom Patrick Laine. The 18-year old Swede leads all first-year skaters and is second overall in the league in goals with 32. Two-time MVP Crosby leads the NHL with 34 goals and is third overall in points with 69. The Penguins are in a very tight Metropolitan Division race, currently tied with Columbus for second place with 88 points and two points ahead of the New York Rangers. Pittsburgh knows it has no room for error as it embarks on a tough five-game road trip. With 18 games remaining, even a short losing streak could send the Pens down to the Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference and possibly out of their division quadrant for the first two rounds of the playoffs. Pittsburgh has earned a point in seven of their last 10 games but has struggled on the road as of late, dropping four of their last five games away from the PPG Paints Center. Winnipeg has lost eight of its last 13 contests overall and hasn't been able to find any consistent scoring outside of the aforementioned Laine who has nine goals and six assists in his last 10 games. The Jets continue to struggle defensively and even with goalie Connor Hellebuyck emerging as the team’s top netminder, he has allowed three or more goals in six of his last 11 starts. Pittsburgh has won eight of its last 10 meetings versus the Jets including a 4-3 OT victory at home back on February 16. Furthermore, the Pens are 6-2 in their last eight contests as a favorite while the Jets have lost five of their last seven games against Eastern Conference opposition. At a reasonable road chalk price, the Penguins are worth a strong look this evening.