Red-hot Avalanche square off with Penguins
The Colorado Avalanche have been the NHL’s best team all season. The Pittsburgh Penguins have been among the best in the new year. The matchup of Avalanche vs Penguins features two of the hottest teams in hockey since the start of 2022.
Colorado leads the NHL with a points percentage of .810 as well as 25 regulation wins. Pittsburgh is seventh with a .663 points percentage. The Penguins’ success rate has dropped off a bit recently with a 5-4-1 record over their last 10 games while the Avalanche keeps rolling along. The Avalanche vs Penguins matchup features two of the top defensive teams in the NHL since Jan. 1.
Colorado is running away with not only the Central Division title but also with the top seed in the Western Conference. Colorado leads Minnesota by 13 points in the division race and is 13 points ahead of Pacific Division-leading Calgary Flames. Pittsburgh is in third place in the Metropolitan Division and trails the Rangers by just two points in the race for second in the division.
Keep on reading for more information to help with the NHL betting tips when Colorado travels to Pittsburgh.
- Team records: Colorado 49-14-6 (first in Central Division); Pittsburgh 41-19-10 (third in Metropolitan Division)
- Date: Tuesday, 7 p.m. ET
- Television: ESPN+
- Location: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, PA
Injury Bug Feasting on Avalanche
The Colorado Avalanche were already playing without veteran forward Gabriel Landeskog due to a knee injury. Landeskog, who hasn’t played since March 10, was on pace to set a career high in goals scored. He is not expected back until next month after undergoing knee surgery.
Now Colorado will be without Nazem Kadri, who leads the team with 57 assists and 83 points. He is sidelined with an upper-body injury and could also be on the sidelines for the rest of April, leaving the Avalanche without two of its top five scorers heading into the Avalanche vs Penguins showdown.
Losing Kadri will be another test for Colorado. Since losing Landeskog, Kadri is third on the team in scoring and third among forwards in time on ice. It could result in even more playing time for Valeri Nichushkin who went from playing just under 18 minutes to more than 21 minutes since Landeskog’s injury.
Colorado is also without defensemen Bowen Byram, Samuel Girard and Ryan Murray. Girard is third on the team in points among defensemen while Byram was on pace for 18 goals and 40 points before being knocked out of the lineup with a head injury. Even with the injuries on defense, the Avalanche lead the NHL with a 2.31 goals-against average since Jan. 1.
Penguins Struggling to Close Out Games
Anybody checking out the Pittsburgh Penguins scoring 11 goals in a row over Detroit in a late March game would never know about the offensive struggle for the Penguins.
Pittsburgh has scored two goals or less in three of its last five games. The inability to find the back of the net has been especially noticeable since the start of March, when the Penguins were 2-4-1 in one-goal games.
The Penguins are averaging five goals in the eight wins and two goals in the seven games that they lost during that stretch. The numbers could be a lot worse if not for Sidney Crosby recording seven multiple-point games since the start of March.
Pittsburgh is looking for more consistency from the recent acquisition of Rickard Rakell. He has played in seven games since being acquired from Anaheim. He has three goals and two assists in the three wins compared to no points in the four losses.
Forwards Danton Heinen, Kasperi Kapanen and Jason Zucker are all questionable for the game.
Avalanche vs Penguins Betting Guide
Colorado snapped a three-game losing streak to Pittsburgh with a 3-2 win on Saturday. It is the third straight game between the teams to be decided by one goal. The NHL predictions are calling for another tight affair among the teams both almost certainly heading to the playoffs.
The home team has won five of the last six matchups while six of the last seven games played in Pittsburgh ended as one-goal contests.
Pittsburgh saw its four-game home winning streak ended with a 3-2 loss to the New York Rangers on March 29. The Penguins have won just three of their last eight home games that finished over the total.
Colorado has allowed two goals or less in seven of its last 11 games and has allowed just nine goals in its last five road contests.