NHL Odds: Hurricanes visit Penguins in Pittsburgh Thursday Night

In another Thursday night classic, the Carolina Hurricanes take on the Pittsburgh Penguins in a fascinating game. With Carolina playing its best hockey of the season, and Pittsburgh trying to find consistency in its game, Thursday night is setting up to be a good divisional showdown.

Phil Kessel, Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby are all on pace for 80-plus point seasons, yet Pittsburgh is fighting for their playoff lives. The reason for their mediocrity is that they are letting in too many goals. They rank ninth-last in goals allowed per game (3.12), and defenseman Justin Schultz stands as one of two players on the Penswith a plus rating (+2). Add the fact that Matt Murray's save percentage is hovering just over .900, and the result is a team that can't keep the puck out of its net.

Carolina, on the other hand, prides itself in being a defensively-sound team with a rock solid back cover. The Hurricanes have surrendered more than two goals in just four of their last 10 games, and have won seven of those contests. Veteran net minder, Cam Ward, has taken over as the Hurricane's No. 1 goalie, and has flourished in the role, going 10-2-1 with a save percentage of .911. If Ward continues to roll, the Canes will be a team to reckon with in the second half of the season and will give the Penguins trouble on Thursday.

Phil Kessel has continued to produce offensively this season, notching 17 goals and 26 assists through 41 games played. The 30-year-old is coming off of a 70-point season last year, but should challenge his career-best 82-point total this year. Kessel and the Pens welcome the youthful Carolina Hurricanes to town this Thursday in a Metropolitan Division clash.

The Hurricanes come to Pittsburgh flying high. They've won seven of their last 10 games, and have clawed their way back into playoff contention. With a youth-infused lineup that scores at will, Carolina is a team that's looking to win. The defending Stanley Cup Champions welcome the Carolina Hurricanes to town this Thursday. Pittsburgh is coming off of a huge 5-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday and will look to take advantage of a youthful Carolina team on home ice. Puck drop is 7 PM Eastern.

Fresh off of their first victory of 2018, the Pittsburgh Penguins will look to build some momentum against a Carolina Hurricanes team that lost a close game to the Washington Capitals on Tuesday. Watch as Crosby and Malkin look to school the youthful Hurricanes lineup in a game between Metropolitan Division rivals.

The Carolina Hurricanes travel to Pennsylvania to take on the Pittsburgh Penguins this Thursday. Sidney Crosby and the Pens will look to create some separation between them and the Canes in the Eastern Conference playoff race, as both teams look to secure a spot in the postseason.

The veteran Pittsburgh Penguins welcome the inexperienced Carolina Hurricanes to town in a battle of offense vs. defense. Pittsburgh's top line seems to put the puck in the net at will, while the Hurricanes sit in the top half of NHL teams in defense.