- What: Colorado Avalanche vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
- Date: Wednesday, March 22, 2023
- Location: Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado
- How to Watch: TNT, SN1, SNW, TVAS
As the 2023 NHL regular season winds down, the Colorado Avalanche are fighting for the top spot in the Western Conference’s Central Division. Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Penguins are competing for one of the wild card berths in the 2023 NHL playoffs for the Eastern Conference. The two clubs meet tonight in Denver.
With 13 games left in the 2023 NHL season, the Avalanche trail the Dallas Stars by one point in the Central Division, and the club is not that far behind the Western Conference-leading Vegas Golden Knights and Los Angeles Kings, who are four points up on Colorado. The Avs bring an overall record of 41-22-6 into tonight’s game against the Penguins. They are 7-2-1 in their past 10 outings and sport a 22-11-1 home record with a plus-40 goal differential.
Pittsburgh is third in the Eastern Conference wild card race. The club is one point behind the Florida Panthers, and trail the NY Islanders by two points. Pittsburgh has a 34-26-10 record for the 2023 campaign, and are a 15-15-5 road team. The Penguins are 4-5-1 in their past 10 games and have a minus-four goal differential.
Before we look at the betting breakdown for tonight’s NHL matchup between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Colorado Avalanche, check out our guide to betting on the 2023 Stanley Cup and our tips for betting on the NHL.
Colorado Avalanche vs. Pittsburgh Penguins picks for March 22, 2023
Pittsburgh Penguins breakdown
The Pittsburgh Penguins looked like they were on the right track when they put together a 7-1-1 run between February 25 and March 12. Unfortunately, the team followed that strong stretch with four straight losses where they were outscored 18-7. The club is still on that losing skid as they head to Colorado to face a strong Avalanche squad.
Sidney Crosby leads the team with 83 points. His 54 assists are also tops on the club. Jake Guentzel is the team leader in goals with 30. Evgeni Malkin, who had 10 points over six games earlier this month, has a single point in the Penguins’ past three games. Malkin is second in the team in scoring with 73 points.
The Penguins’ defense is hurting the team overall, as evidenced by the team’s 224 goals for and 228 goals against on the 2023 season. Pittsburgh was plus 43 in goal differential last season.
Colorado Avalanche breakdown
The Colorado Avalanche hit a rough patch near the end of 2022, but they have rebounded and are trending in the right direction. The reigning Stanley Cup champs went 1-6-1 between December 27 and January 12, but they are on an 21–5-3 since then. The Avalanche enter tonight’s game against the Penguins on a six-game winning streak. Colorado has outscored their opponents 15-5 in their past three games.
The Avalanche have been without Gabriel Landeskog for all of the 2023 NHL season. That has hurt the team a bit, as he has been a point-per-game player. Star defenseman Cale Makar has missed a fair amount of time and is currently day-to-day with a lower body injury. Also out is Artturi Lehkonen, who was having a career year with 20 goals and 29 assists before a finger injury knocked him out of the lineup in mid-March.
Despite missing some key pieces, Colorado is still scoring at a good clip, with Mikko Rantanen leading the way. The right wing has 47 goals and 85 points on the season. Nathan MacKinnon has taken over the scoring lead for the team with 89 points (30 goals, 59 assists). MacKinnon is the hottest player on the team right now, with 10 points in the Avs past five games.
Best bet for Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Colorado Avalanche
Despite a somewhat depleted roster, the Colorado Avalanche are playing excellent hockey right now. The same cannot be said about the Pittsburgh Penguins. With how the Pens are playing on defense and how the Avalanche are scoring, the best bet in this game is to pick the Avalanche to beat the Penguins.
Pick: Colorado Avalanche to beat Pittsburgh Penguins.
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