KEY POINTS

  • Penguins to parade improved roster after deadline
  • Penguins start California tour on Wednesday against Kings
  • Kings are underdogs at home

The Pittsburgh Penguins will parade their vastly improved depth when they begin their California road trip facing the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday inside the Staples Center. The Penguins added more veteran savvy with the acquisition of 40-year old future Hall of Famer Patrick Marleau from San Jose plus the deal that landed them Conor Sheary - who already played for Pittsburgh from 2015-2018 - and Evan Rodrigues from Buffalo. The Penguins dropped back to second place under the Washington Capitals in the Metropolitan Division standings after falling in three straight outings.

Pittsburgh Penguins

The moves made by Pittsburgh’s management during the trade deadline were executed to address what they perceive as holes in the team’s line-up that could potentially forestall their campaign for a deep postseason run. The help could not come at a better time as the Penguins are in the midst of a three-game slump. Marleau is a 561 career goal-scorer while Sheary has the leverage of familiarity with Sidney Crosby and most of the other guys in the team. Now trailing the Capitals by four points at the top of the Metropolitan, Pittsburgh’s leader in points Evgeni Malkin, who is set to play his 900th NHL game, will expect better support from his teammates as they seek to arrest the skid.

Los Angeles Kings

The Kings suffered a 4-2 defeat against Edmonton last Sunday as they remain as the second-worst team in the NHL with a 22-35-6 record. Anze Kopitar is miles ahead at the top of Los Angeles’ points leaderboard as his 56 total is followed by 37 from Alex Iafallo and 30 from Drew Doughty. It goes to show the lack of firepower the team has that obviously puts them in a tough position every night to engage in a competitive battle on the ice. Dustin Brown tried to make a good account of himself after scoring three goals in the last four games. But the Kings would need more of it - more so from the rest of the team - if they want to at least have a reputable exit this season.

Odds and Trends

The Penguins are tagged as -180 favorites on the road against the Kings based on the updated NHL Betting Lines which priced the home team at +160.

The Penguins are 5-1 in their last 6 games as a road favorite and 8-2 in their last 10 vs. Pacific.

The  Kings are 30-61 in their last 91 overall and 24-56 in their last 80 games as an underdog.

Over is 5-1 in Penguins last 6 after allowing 5 goals or more in their previous game and 4-0 in their last 4 vs. Western Conference.

Under is 3-0-1 in Kings last 4 when their opponent allows 5 goals or more in their previous game and 5-1 in their last 6 vs. Metropolitan.

Prediction

Penguins win, 4-1

sidney crosby penguins 2016 Sidney Crosby, right, and the Penguins drop the puck against the San Jose Sharks in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals Monday. Photo: Getty Images