Vegas Golden Knights vs. Pittsburgh Penguins: Prediction, Preview, Picks & Odds - 12/1/2022

by Chuck Sommers

Time: 7 p.m. ET
Venue: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, PA
Where to watch: ATTSN-RM, ATTSN-PT

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Penguins -115, Golden Knights -105
FanDuel: Penguins -114, Golden Knights -105
BetMGM: Penguins -115, Golden Knights -105
Caesars: Penguins -120, Golden Knights +100

Season record
Golden Knights: 17-6-1
Penguins: 11-8-4

What an electric start to the NHL season. So much parity, so many good teams through the first 10-plus games, you have every right to be excited! Of course the Vegas Golden Knights and Boston Bruins (and the New Jersey Devils?) are heading the fun charge here as the top two teams in the league, because of course they are. But never count out the Avalanche, you know they're always going to be hanging around and will be eating worlds once they get everyone healthy. But this is a good time to be playing these hockey games, as well. Look no further than our own Doc's Sports on a 14-7-0 run over the first 30 days of the NHL season. There's also ASA, Inc. posting a 12-5-1 mark through the first month. You know you can trust our champion handicappers to get you across the finish line with your NHL bets. Check out our Best Bets page at bigal.com to see what we're throwing down!

Golden Knights - Penguins preview, prediction and analysis


Recent results
Golden Knights: won 3-2 (SO) at Blue Jackets on Monday
Penguins: lost 3-2 (OT) vs. Hurricanes on Tuesday

It wasn't the prettiest first period, it wasn't even the prettiest second or third. But the Vegas Golden Knights found a way to win and snap a two-game losing streak that had a lot of people questioning what in the world is going on. Vegas continues to pace itself to be the top team in the Western Conference and so far so good on that front. Now, Vegas will continue its four-game road trip on Thursday when it takes on the Pittsburgh Penguins in a match up where I could understand Vegas losing, but I could also understand Pittsburgh winning this game.

I don't think we know yet if the golden Knights are capable of beating teams in the East Coast. Sure they had that nine-game winning streak which included some wins in eastern Canada, but in order to really contend for a Stanley Cup, Vegas is going to need to win games that it really hasn't had a chance to win in years honestly. Vegas has only won once in Pittsburgh, and that was due to a shutout recorded by Marc-Andre Fleury. Other than that, Vegas has never really had good luck against the Penguins in Pittsburgh.

Alas, I could understand Vegas feeling like they should feel really good after winning in Columbus the other night in a shootout 3-2. But if we're being honest, if not for Vegas scoring twice in 56 seconds in the first, then I'm not really sure where the golden Knights would be in this current point. To me it would sound like Vegas would find a way to lose if not for William Karlsson and William Carrier scoring the goals, while Paul Cotter scored the game-winner in the shootout in the seventh round. The sky would probably be falling by this time but I'm not going to hold my breath on that.

Vegas has absolutely deserved the chance to be the top team in the Western Conference with some of the wins it has racked up. Jack Eichel is still off to a great place to begin his season, and the likes of Karlsson and Mark Stone are off to great starts. But the Golden Knights will not have Alex Pietrangelo in the lineup due to personal reasons. Vegas hopes he can be back Saturday.

The Penguins are dealing with a health scare of their own involving one of their top defensemen. Kris Letang is out indefinitely due to suffering a stroke for the second time in his playing career. He suffered one back in 2014 but fortunately according to the Penguins, this is not as serious as the first one. If you haven't been watching hockey for a long period of time, and you hear that a player had a stroke before and it was much more serious back then to the point where he still came back and is one of the better defensemen in the history of the Pittsburgh Penguins, then you're probably thinking you lost your mind a little bit.

Pittsburgh however, could use a win. After a lengthy run that saw them win seven of nine, the Penguins have dropped two in a row at home with losses to the Toronto Maple Leafs and Carolina Hurricanes. The latter was a 3-2 overtime loss to Carolina with Tristan Jarry in net. Jake Guentzel had a goal and an assist, the assist on Sidney Crosby’s goal in the first period, and had it not been for Guentzel tying the game late in the third period, Pittsburgh would not have even walked away with a point.

It's unclear who goes in net for Pittsburgh, but don’t be surprised if it’s Logan Thompson for Vegas after a strong outing on Monday against Columbus.

Prediction


I think the Golden Knights, in order to consider this one a successful road trip, need to win this one. Detroit, you can get away with. Boston is the penultimate game. This one, to at least reserve a split, has to be done. Golden Knights win 3-2

Betting trends


Golden Knights are 8-0 in non-conference games this season.

Golden Knights are 40-15 after winning their previous game in OT in their history.

Penguins are 15-20 after winning 4 or 5 of their last six the last 2 seasons.

Projected lines


Golden Knights:

Chandler Stephenson -- Jack Eichel -- Mark Stone

Jonathan Marchessault -- Reilly Smith -- William Karlsson

Paul Cotter -- Nicolas Roy -- Phil Kessel

William Carrier -- Jake Leschyshyn -- Keegan Kolesar

Alec Martinez -- Ben Hutton

Brayden McNabb -- Shea Theodore

Nicolas Hague -- Zach Whitecloud

Logan Thompson

Penguins:

Jake Guentzel -- Sidney Crosby -- Rickard Rakell

Jason Zucker -- Evgeni Malkin -- Bryan Rust

Brock McGinn -- Jeff Carter -- Kasperi Kapanen

Ryan Poehling -- Teddy Blueger -- Josh Archibald

Marcus Pettersson -- Chad Ruhwedel

Pierre-Olivier Joseph -- Jeff Petry

Brian Dumoulin -- Jan Rutta

Tristan Jarry

Don't miss our champion handicappers' free picks and expert hockey picks today. And if you enjoyed this Vegas Golden Knights - Pittsburgh Penguins prediction, be sure to drop by every day for our daily NHL projections and previews.

Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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