The Pittsburgh Penguins lead the Round One series against the New York Rangers 2-1 and have a chance to put New York on the brink with a win Monday night at PPG Paints Arena.
The puck drops just after 7 p.m.
The Penguins never make it easy, and they are certainly never a dull team. In Game 3, they chased likely Vezina Trophy-winner Igor Shesterkin after 20 minutes with a 4-1 lead before playing pond hockey and losing the lead in the second period. However, all’s well that ends well, as the Penguins survived a couple of New York power plays at the start of the third period and then dominated the game in a 7-4 win.
Jason Zucker played in Game 3 and was effective, though his line with Jeff Carter was not. The Carter line was well out-shot (14-5) and out-chanced (10-4). The line also gave up seven high-danger scoring chances, which was more than the other three Penguins’ lines combined.
Sidney Crosby had his fifth-straight multi-point playoff game against New York. He had a pair of assists. Evan Rodrigues filled the net with a pair of goals and an assist.
On Monday morning, Rickard Rakell skated with the team but in a non-contact sweater. Before the skate, Tristan Jarry took shots for the first time but did so from the butterfly position, not on his feet, and the shots were soft.
Brian Dumoulin has not appeared in the conditioning skates or morning skates, and likely remains out.
One glaring deficiency has been the Penguins’ power-play. The top unit has given up two shorthanded goals but scored only once. The Penguins’ second unit scored a pair of goals in Game 3, though it didn’t look exceedingly strong in the process.
Louis Domingue will start in goal for the Penguins. The journeyman goalie has spent more time in the AHL and practice squads over the past three seasons than in the NHL, but the 6-foot-3 netminder is creating a cult following with spicy pork and broccoli meals, headline-grabbing quotes, and, most importantly, a pair of wins.
Domingue will again face Shesterkin, who has been leaky in the last couple of first periods. The Penguins did not get to him in Game 2 but blitzed him for four goals in Game 3 before Alexander Georgiev relieved him.
Expected Pittsburgh Penguins Lines
|Jake Guentzel||Sidney Crosby||Bryan Rust|
|Rickard Rakell||Evgeni Malkin||Kasperi Kapanen|
|Jason Zucker||Jeff Carter||Danton Heinen|
|Brock McGinn||Teddy Blueger||Evan Rodrigues|
|Mike Matheson||Kris Letang|
|Marcus Pettersson||John Marino|
|Mark Friedman||Chad Ruhwedel|
Expected New York Rangers Lines, per PuckPedia.com:
Pittsburgh Penguins Betting:
Well…if you took our betting advice on Saturday (and used the free bet on Evan Rodrigues to score), you’d be $225 richer. Our alternate bet was Sidney Crosby to have a multi-point game and Jake Guentzel to score (+350), and that paid, too!
PHN readers get a free $50 bet from the latest DraftKings Promo here.
The Penguins are slight favorites, which is why…
The next “Bet Against Dan and Make Money” pick is overtime (+320). You know we never take the easy bets, and it seems like the teams are going to battle to the ends of the earth tonight because New York knows they don’t want to go home down 3-1, and the Penguins finished Game 3 strong. They smelled blood and went for it.
It seems the Penguins win those games.