NHL Hockey Betting:  St. Louis Blues at Pittsburgh Penguins&h=253&w=372&zc=1

The St. Louis Blues haven’t been playing particularly well of late and now they’ve been dropped into fourth place in the Central Division by the surging Nashville Predators (7-3 L10). The Blues need to get back on track but they face an exceedingly difficult challenge on Tuesday night as they play the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Pens are in third place in the Metropolitan Division three back of second place Columbus and 5 back of first place Washington. They’re also two points up on the fourth place New York Rangers so they’ve got pressure from behind as well. The Penguins enter this game having won four straight and 7 of 10.

St. Louis is two back of Nashville but has a couple of teams looking to put them down even further. The Blues are 3 up on Winnipeg and 4 up on Dallas though they have the advantage that these teams aren’t playing well either–Winnipeg is 4-5-1 in their last 10 while Dallas is 3-5-2. Of course the bad news is that St. Louis is 4-6-0 and has lost three straight so they’re in the same boat. The Predators are now 12 back of co-leaders Minnesota and Chicago with the Blues 14 back of these teams. Unless these teams start to make a move on the top teams in the division the rest of the Central could be fighting for third place.

The Blues have already confirmed that Carter Hutton will get the start in net here. The former Nashville Predators’ backup is putting up decent numbers in St. Louis so far with a record of 6-6-2 with a 2.80 goals against average and a 0.892 save percentage. The Penguins haven’t confirmed their goalie–they’ve got Marc Andre Fleury ‘penciled in’ but Matt Murray has started the last four games and five of six. Until there’s a confirmation it seems all the more likely that Murray will get this start.

This is the first game between these teams this season and it’s hard to go against the Penguins at home. They’ve got the best home record in the NHL at 20-2-2 and are 8-3 after a three game unbeaten streak. St. Louis, meanwhile, has really struggled on the road this season (7-12-1) and it’s hard to see them reversing that tendency to get the win here.