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NHL Free Pick: Penguins vs. Islanders Betting Lines & Preview

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Weekly NHL Betting action sees the Pittsburgh Penguins taking on the New York Islanders January 16 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Cappers Picks provides free NHL handicapping tips all season long.

The marquee matchup on a busy Friday night of NHL action takes place on Long Island when the top two teams in the Metropolitan Division fight it out.

Daily NHL Hockey Odds

Pittsburgh (26-10-3-3) at NY Islanders (29-13-0-1)
When: 7:00 PM ET, Friday, January 16, 2015
Where: Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, New York
Broadcast: TVA, ROOT, MSG+
Penguins NHL Betting Odds: +1½ -285 +109
Islanders NHL Betting Odds: -1½ +240 -120
NHL Over/Under Betting Lines: 5½ -116
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The New York Islanders, the unexpected leaders of the Division return home after a 5-2 road trip and a 3-0 win over the Rangers on Tuesday while the Penguins, despite a slightly down year from Sidney Crosby have won two straight games but are just 4-4-2 in their last 10 games overall.

The Pittsburgh Penguins, to nobody’s surprise continue to be one of the best offensive teams in the game – they are averaging 3.02 goals per game – with names like Crosby, Malkin, Kunitz and Letang it is no wonder. But where this team is different this year is in the defensive zone – the Pens are allowing just 2.25 non-shootout goals per game.

Newly named All-Star goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury will get the call between the pipes – he is enjoying arguably his best career season. Fleury is 22-7-4 with a 2.16 GAA and .926 save percentage this year – very good numbers although his season will only be defined by his performance in the playoffs.

The Penguins looked terrific offensively in their last game – a 7-2 win over the Minnesota Wild. Crosby, who has just 12 goals so far this year and 35 assists, looked dominant last time out – he and linemates Chris Kunitz and David Perron combined for three goals and eight points – as dangerous as we thought they’d be. Crosby has 25 goals and 60 assists in 48 games against New York but hasn’t posted a point in the last two meetings. Malkin has been good as has Letang and Nick Spaling. Pittsburgh is a stacked offensive club for sure – 24 Pens have scored goals this season so far.

The New York Islanders are the biggest surprise of the year – they are scoring 2.98 goals per game and they are surrendering 2.67 goals per game.

They are 29-13-1 this year – just five wins behind last year’s win total – and we are at about the half way point of the season. Going 5-2 on a road trip that took them to Western Canada and to Madison Square Garden is no easy task.

Besides having a place at the top of the Metropolitan standings in common, the Isles and the Pens have another thing in common – they have a goaltender that will play in the All-Star game. Jaroslav Halak was names a replacement and comes off a 27 save shutout of the scorching New York Rangers. Halak has similar numbers to Fleury – he is 23-8-0 on the season with a 2.22 GAA and .917 save percentage on the year – he is 2-0-0 with a 0.98 GAA and .960 save percentage in his last two starts overall. He is arguably the biggest difference maker on the Isles and gives his team a chance to win each and every night.

Offensively there aren’t a whole lot of Islanders that haven’t contributed lately. Nikolay Kulemin, Brian Strait, Thomas Hickey and Anders Lee each have two points in their last two games, Kyle Okposo has 10 points in his last 11 games and Johnny Boychyuk has four points in his last five games.

John Tavares has led the team night in and night out and has been one of the most dominant players in the game this year. Everyone is contributing for this club each and every night.

NHL Gambling Trends

• Over is 15-7-2 in PIT last 24 Fri. games.
• NYI are 7-1 in their last 8 Fri. games.
• NYI are 11-2 in their last 13 home games.
• Under is 9-2 in NYI last 11 home games.
• Over is 7-2-1 in the last 10 meetings in New York.
• PIT are 9-3 in the last 12 meetings in New York.

The Islanders swept a home-and-home series with the Penguins on Nov. 21 and 22 – they aren’t scared in the least of the mighty Pens. New York is a tough team to play right now – as confident and as good in both ends of the rink as any team in the league.

NHL Betting 4* Free Play

Something tells me that this game is more important to the Islanders than the Penguins.

New York Islanders -120

Take New York to make a statement on Friday night and maintain their Metropolitan lead.

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