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Avalanche or Penguins in Cross-Conference Matchup Tuesday?
Updated February 10, 2023
Colorado Avalanche vs Pittsburgh Penguins – 2022-23 NHL Regular Season
When: Tuesday, February 7th
Where: PPG Paints Arena
Tuesday evening in the Steel City we’ll see star power go toe to toe as the reigning Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche head East to face the Pittsburgh Penguins in a cross-conference matchup. The puck will drop at 7 PM ET at PPG Paints Arena. Colorado is 7-3-0 in their last ten and continues to improve at the best possible time. Pittsburgh, meanwhile has lost two in a row. This is the first game for both teams since the All-Star festivities down in Florida. Keep reading for the Avalanche vs Penguins prediction.
As you can see, there is no clear favorite here. At BetOnline, both the Avs and Pens sit at -105 moneyline odds. After all, they have similar records, too. Colorado has been the better team in recent meetings, winning two straight in 2022 by scores of 6-4 and 3-2.
Colorado vs Pittsburgh Preview
The first half was filled with injuries for the Avalanche, who were seen as a serious contender after winning it all last year. Gabriel Landeskog, one of their best players, hasn’t played yet this season due to injury. However, he’s expected to return very soon, which is massive for Colorado. On top of that, two more key pieces Bo Byram and Valeri Nichushkin will return on Tuesday from injuries. Nichushkin has been in and out of the lineup with an ankle issue, but when he’s on the ice, the Russian is productive.
He’s scored eight goals and tallied ten assists in just 20 outings. Jared Bednar’s squad is certainly trending in the right direction health-wise and in terms of form. They’ve won seven of their last eight contests, beating some solid teams along the way, such as the Kraken, Blues, Flames, and Capitals.
The defense remains stout for the Avs, allowing a mere 2.73 goals per game. Offensively, Mikko Rantanen leads the charge with 34 goals and 27 assists, while Nate MacKinnon has scored 13 and set up another 41. You can’t forget about Cale Makar, perhaps the best defenceman in the league. He’s got 32 assists and 13 goals. Colorado is rolling right now, and hopefully, they can continue to do so, even after more than a week off.
Pittsburgh is on the playoff bubble at the moment in the always competitive Eastern Conference, sitting in eighth place with a 24-16-9 record, and they will need to find some consistency in a hurry in order to stay in contention. Before the All-Star break, the Penguins dropped back-to-back contests against the Caps and Sharks, allowing six goals to San Jose. Keeping opponents out of their net has been an issue, allowing 3.1 goals per night. That ranks 17th in the NHL. The attack makes up for it, however, scoring 3.27.
Sidney Crosby is still lighting it up after all of these years, scoring 24 times and supplying 36 assists, both team-bests. Jake Guentzel is also up there with 20 goals and 26 assists, while Evgeni Malkin has netted 19 times and set up 31. Tuesday’s encounter will be a welcoming sight for the Pens, who own a 14-6-4 record at PPG Paints Arena. That’s a mile better than their 10-10-5 record on the road. That being said, Colorado is hot and will undoubtedly present a tough test for Pittsburgh.
Avalanche vs Penguins Prediction
Between the Avs’ current play and their unbeaten run against the Pens, I like them here. The visitors will keep up the winning ways out East. The moneyline looks good.