This article is part of our NHL Picks series.
NHL Picks for January 14: Penguins vs. Hurricanes
The Pittsburgh Penguins (21-14-6) hit the road to face the Carolina Hurricanes (26-9-7) Saturday night at PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C.
This is the fourth and final meeting between these Metropolitan Division teams, and Carolina is looking for the four-game sweep of the season series.
Carolina picked up a 3-2 win in overtime in the Steel City on Nov. 29, as Pyotr Kochetkov outlasted Tristan Jarry. On Dec. 18, the teams met in Raleigh, with the Canes picking up a 3-2 win behind Kochetkov, as he outdueled Casey DeSmith.
In the most recent meeting, the Hurricanes posted a 4-3 win in OT in Pittsburgh on Dec. 22, with Antti Raanta topping Jarry in that outing. Jarry is sidelined due to a lower-body injury, so it's DeSmith's show right now.
We're likely to get a completely different goalie matchup here, as DeSmith (5-8-2, 3.17 GAA, .904 SV%) is projected to face Frederik Andersen (6-3-0, 2.64 GAA, .893 SV%).
Andersen just returned from a lengthy absence due to a lower-body injury. He allowed just two goals on 23 shots in a 6-2 win in his return to the lineup Thursday in Columbus. It wouldn't be surprising to see Rod Brind'Amour consider Kochetkov for this one, however, as he is 2-0-0 with a 1.96 GAA and .930 SV% in two starts against the Pens this season.
The Pens were dumped 4-1 at home Friday night against the Winnipeg Jets, and now face the quick turnaround. According to flightaware.com, the charter flight of the Pens didn't arrive into RDU until 12:39am ET, which means the team likely didn't get into the team hotel until around 1:30-2am. While the trip from Pittsburgh to Raleigh isn't a long one, that's tough on the sleep schedule.
The Penguins are just 2-7 in the past nine games overall, and just 1-4 in the past five road outings. They're also 2-7 in the past nine when playing on no rest, while going 0-6 in the past six against winning teams. Toss in the fact the Hurricanes are 6-1 in the past seven meetings, including 3-0 this season, and Carolina is easily the side to back Saturday night in the City of Oaks.
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NHL Moneyline Bets for Penguins vs. Hurricanes
- Maple Leafs ML (-165 at BetMGM)
The trends for the total are on completely opposite sides for both of these teams.
The Under is 4-1-3 in the past eight games on the road for the Penguins, while going 5-2-2 in the past nine games against teams with a winning overall record. The Under is 6-1-2 in the past nine games against teams inside the Metropolitan Division, too.
While the Over is 6-0 in each of the past six outings for the Hurricanes, and 7-0 in the past seven inside the Metro, it's all about the Under in this series.
The Under is 4-0 in the past four meetings in Raleigh, and 12-4-1 in the past 17 in this series.
NHL Totals Bets for Penguins vs. Hurricanes
- Under 6.5 (-110 at BetMGM)
NHL Player Props for Penguins vs. Hurricanes
Looking to the player props, there are a handful of options worth pursuing.
After a slow start upon his return from a lower-body injury which forced him out for two and a half weeks in December, Sebastian Aho of the Hurricanes has been heating up lately. He has a goal and five points across the past three outings, including a power-play assist. Take a chance on Aho to grab at least one point on the man advantage, which has been clicking for the Canes lately.
- Sebastian Aho Over 0.5 Power-Play Points (+152 at FanDuel)
In addition to the PPP prop, take a look at Aho going over in shots on goal (SOG). He has registered three or more SOG in three of his six games in January, and seven of the past 11 outings overall.
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- Sebastian Aho Over 2.5 SOG (-154 at FanDuel)
On the flip side, All-Star Andrei Svechnikov has gone without a goal in all six of his games in January, while posting just two assists with a minus-3 rating. He is worth fading until he starts to heat up again.
- Andrei Svechnikov Under 0.5 Points (+148 at FanDuel)