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The St. Louis Blues are riding high these days. Not only are they the top seed in the Central Division, but they also just blew the doors off the hometown Minnesota Wild in the 2022 NHL Winter Classic. Each team braved the chilling cold at Target Field in Minneapolis, MN and the Blues posted six goals en route to a 6-4 road victory. They’re now 7-1-2 in their last ten with an impressive +25 goal differential. These Blues are red hot to start the new year, but they have met their match in this one. Read on.
We like St. Louis (+110) to add another road tally to their belt with a massive 4-3 upset over the hometown Pens.
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While we could talk about the Blues’ triumphs all night, the Penguins are officially the hottest team on the ice at this very moment. They have won eight straight entering this matchup and are currently on a 7-1-2 tear through their last 10-pack. This is a contest between two very evenly matched squads who are both boasting excellent goal differentials and high caliber special teams units. Pittsburgh is currently first in the league on the penalty kill knocking off 91.0% of their shorthanded opportunities while St. Louis sits sixth-best at 83.9%.
If these Blues can keep the rubber flying all night toward the Pittsburgh crease, they’ve got a tremendous shot of moving up the board early and often. While Pitt is better than their record indicates – due to their slow start to the year whilst battling injuries – they are still a beatable team. All of that can also be said in spite of their recent winning run. The Blues formula has to be a simple one. Shots at the net and bodies in front. It’s the oldest trick in the book.
What these Blues have going for them are four offensive juggernauts that just can’t be stopped. Vladdy Tarasenko once again leads the team in points with 33 and in goals as well with 14, but he’s followed closely by Jordan Kyrou (32 points and 12 goals), Pavel Buchnevich (30 points and 11 goals), and Ivan Barbashev (27 points and 12 goals). Few teams have this much offense spread throughout their lineup all with only a handful of guys boasting a minus for the year. The Blues have been impressive and they’ll need to stick to their now-not-so-secret sauce in this one.
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Not many teams have six more wins than losses and a total of 12 point getting tilts under the belts at home. At 9-3-3 at the PPG though, Pittsburgh has turned their home barn into an absolute fortress these past few months. As mentioned, this team battled injuries to Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang early on this season. Since they’ve each returned though the birds that don’t fly have been soaring through the league.
The Penguins should be expecting a total shot assault on Wednesday night from one of the best teams in the game. St. Louis has a fantastic front unit and they’re not afraid to fire away. Thankfully, the Pens have Tristan Jarry between the pipes who’s been one of the best tenders these past few months. With 15 wins and four OTL’s through 24 contests and the third-best goals against in the league at 1.93, the one they call Tom and Jerry has been the backbone of this marvelous holiday run – a run that could continue Wednesday night with a huge defensive effort.
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St. Louis has won seven of their last nine against winning record teams while the Pens have won five of their last seven in that same category.
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|St. Louis Blues vs Pittsburgh Penguins Information|
|What||St. Louis Blues vs Pittsburgh Penguins|
|Where||PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, PA|
|When||January 5, 2022 at 7:30 pm EST|
|How to watch||TNT|
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Ryan has worked as a sports writer for the past decade and sports journalism for almost 15 years. He has worked in television, radio, print, digital, and podcasting since 2006. He is also the former co-host of the NFL Weekly Pick 'Em and Best Bets Podcast along with the Prop Drop on WSN.com.More info on Ryan Sullivan
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