Penguins vs Maple Leafs Prediction - NHL Picks 12/16/23

Toronto Maple Leafs (15-6-6) vs Pittsburgh Penguins (13-12-3)

Game Info: Saturday, December 16, 2023 at 7:00 pm (Scotiabank Arena)

Betting Odds: Toronto Maple Leafs -156 / Pittsburgh Penguins +130 --- Over/Under: 6.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The Pittsburgh Penguins will play the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario. Pittsburgh has won two games in a row, while Toronto has lost two of their last three. Let’s take a look at the betting matchup and the Penguins vs Maple Leafs prediction.

Penguins Preview

The Pittsburgh Penguins are 13-12-3 this year after they defeated Montreal in a shootout by a score of 4-3 in their last game. Pittsburgh trailed 3-1 in the first period, but they were able to score twice in the second to force overtime and won in a shootout. The Penguins were out shot by a total of 42-30 and went 2-3 on the power play in the game. Pittsburgh defeated Arizona by a score of 4-2 in the game prior to Montreal, but they did lose four games in a row before that. Pittsburgh is scoring 2.93 goals per game and they are allowing 2.61 goals against per game, while going 13.4% on the power play and 81.8% on the penalty kill. Jake Guentzel has led the Penguins with 13 goals, 19 assists, and 97 shots on goal. The projected starting goalie for Pittsburgh is Tristan Jarry, who is 9-10-2 this season with a 2.46 goals against average and a .917 save percentage. 

Maple Leafs Preview

The Toronto Maple Leafs are 15-6-6 this season after they lost to Columbus in overtime by a score of 6-5 in their last game. Toronto trailed 5-0 in the third period, but they were able to force overtime, before losing in the extra frame. The Maple Leafs out shot Columbus by a total of 48-35 and went 1-2 on the power play in the game. Toronto defeated the Rangers by a score of 7-3 in the game prior to Columbus, but lost to the Islanders by a score of 4-3 before that. The Maple Leafs are scoring 3.52 goals per game and they are allowing 3.30 goals against per game, while going 25.6% on the power play and 79.3% on the penalty kill. William Nylander has led Toronto with 14 goals, 24 assists, and 120 shots on goal. The projected starting goalie for Toronto is Ilya Samsonov, who is 5-1-5 this year with a 3.51 goals against average and a .878 save percentage. 

Toronto Maple Leafs Team Facts

  • The underdogs have won each of the Maple Leafs' last three games.
  • The Maple Leafs have failed to cover the puck line in each of their last 10 games as home favorites against Eastern Conference opponents.
  • The Maple Leafs have won the third period in each of their last four games.
  • The 'Over 1.5 Goals Period 2' market has hit in each of the Maple Leafs' last 14 Saturday at Scotiabank Arena.

Pittsburgh Penguins Team Facts

  • The underdogs have won four of the Penguins' last five games at Scotiabank Arena.
  • The home team has covered the puck line in each of the Penguins' last five games.
  • The Penguins have won the second period in each of their last four games as underdogs after coming off a shootout.
  • The 'Over 2.5 Goals Period 1' market has hit in four of the Penguins' last six games following an overtime win.

Toronto Maple Leafs Player Prop Facts

  • Auston Matthews has scored at least one goal in five of the Maple Leafs' last six games.
  • John Tavares has recorded at least one point in eight of the Maple Leafs' last nine games against Eastern Conference opponents.
  • John Tavares has recorded at least one assist in eight of the Maple Leafs' last nine games against Eastern Conference opponents.
  • Auston Matthews ranks 1st in the league for multi-goal games (8) this season.

Pittsburgh Penguins Player Prop Facts

  • Evgeni Malkin has scored at least one goal in three of his last four appearances against the Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena.
  • Erik Karlsson has recorded at least one point in four of his last five appearances with his team as an underdog against the Maple Leafs.
  • Sidney Crosby has recorded an assist in seven of the Penguins' last eight Saturday games against Atlantic Division opponents.
  • Marcus Pettersson ranks T3rd in the Metropolitan Division for Plus/Minus (+13) this season.

Matchup/League Facts

  • The Toronto Maple Leafs ranks 2nd in the league for Period 3 goals scored per game this season (1.33).
  • The Toronto Maple Leafs are one of only three teams to win a game when trailing by 2 or more goals after Period 1 this season.
  • The Pittsburgh Penguins ranks 31st in the league in penalty minutes this season (207).
  • The Pittsburgh Penguins ranks 3rd in the league in save percentage this season (.917).

Penguins vs Maple Leafs Betting Prediction

Pittsburgh has had an inconsistent start to the season, but they have won two games in a row and should have some momentum after their last come from behind win. Toronto played a great third period in their last game, but couldn’t quite get it done in overtime. The Maple Leafs are 8-4-2 at home, while Pittsburgh is 7-6-2 on the road. Toronto has gone over 6.5 goals in four of their last five games and I think we are going to see a higher scoring game here. Take the over in this matchup. 

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

Mitch's Take...

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