NHL Odds: Penguins Need to Find New Gear Versus Detroit

If it were up to the Pittsburgh Penguins, they’d probably play all their games in Alberta. The Penguins (30-15-8 SU) posted back-to-back shutouts last week in Edmonton and Calgary, before getting shutout themselves in Vancouver. Now it’s back home to face the Detroit Red Wings (31-12-9 SU) on Wednesday. Game time is 8:00 PM ET on NBCSN.

Like most teams, Pittsburgh is doing better against weaker opponents like the Oilers. But things get decidedly worse against the good teams. As we go to press, the Penguins are just 7-9-5 this year against the top three seeds from each division. Detroit is one of those teams – the Red Wings (+106 at home) beat Pittsburgh 4-3 in overtime back in October.

The Wings have held their own against Top 3 seeds (Pittsburgh included) at 7-6-2, although that record exposes how much softer their schedule has been. Hockey Reference has Detroit with the lowest strength of schedule in the league thus far at minus-0.11. Pittsburgh’s schedule has been among the toughest at plus-0.04. That imbalance might give the Pens some betting value when they meet at the CEC.