The Penguins will look to tighten the defensive screws and get back on the winning path tonight in a rematch with a New York Rangers team that has suddenly worked its way back into the East Division playoff race, posting five or more goals in five of their last 11 games.
Let’s take a look at this tilt, the eighth and final meeting between the teams this season, from a betting perspective in our Penguins vs. Rangers betting preview with odds, picks and predictions.
The Penguins were rolling along until their last two games. They got into track meets with two teams chasing them in the standings, and lost both contests while allowing 15 total goals – seven to Boston and eight to the New York Rangers.
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Penguins vs. Rangers Betting Pick
Tristan Jarry was out of the lineup for a few games with an injury for the Penguins. On Tuesday, he returned but was unceremoniously sent back to the bench early by the Rangers.
New York chased the Pens starting netminder after the first period, scoring four times on just 11 shots. Jarry had been really good for the Pens prior to that outing, going 13-4-1 in his previous 18 starts while allowing more than three goals in a game just once.
He will get the nod in net again and hopes for a better outcome against a Rangers team that he had beaten in his three previous starts against them this season.
The Rangers offense has suddenly come to life. Starting with a 9-0 drubbing of Philadelphia on St. Patrick’s Day, New York is 7-3-1 and outscored their opponents 49-28 in those 11 games, an average of 4.5 goals per game.
Against Pittsburgh on Tuesday, Artemi Panarin (1g, 3a) was one of nine Rangers to have a multi-point game. Adam Fox, who has come out of nowhere to enter the Norris Trophy conversation as the best defenseman in the NHL, added three points (1g, 2a) and now has 21 points (3G, 18A) in those same 11 games with at least one point in each contest.
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Penguins vs. Rangers Odds
Here are the lines for Penguins vs. Rangers at DraftKings Sportsbook:
Spread: Penguins (+1.5 -240); Rangers (-1.5 +190)
Moneyline: Penguins (+104); Rangers (-121)
Over/Under: Over 6 (-115)/Under 6 (-105)
Bets We Like With a Penguins Win
Bryan Rust OVER 0.5 points (-126, FanDuel), or Bryan Rust OVER 0.5 goals (+210, FanDuel)
Since logging a hat trick against the New York Islanders on March 27, Bryan Rust has gone without a point in his last four games.
In the first three of those games, Rust only managed two shots on goal, but against the Rangers on Tuesday, he tied for the team lead with four shots on goal. He also had three more blocked and two that missed the net. His nine attempts were tied with Kris Letang for most on the team.
Rust is a solid scorer, and usually when goal scorers go through a drought, they find a way to shoot their way out of it. Getting a lot of shots and no points in the last game is a classic setup for a breakthrough the next time out.
If you believe the Penguins will win this game, know that they are 10-1 when Rust scores a goal this season and 16-4-1 when he registers at least one point. There is definite value here.
Bets We Like With a Rangers Win
Artemi Panarin 2+ points (+155, DraftKings) or Adam Fox OVER 0.5 assists (-108, FanDuel)
Panarin is on fire right now with four consecutive multi-point games (11 total) and 18 points in his last 11 games. He is the straw that stirs the Rangers’ drink, so if you think they will win this game, the Rangers are 10-1-2 this year in games Panarin scores two or more points.
As for Fox, that line is unbelievably low for him to get an assist. In his 11-game point streak mentioned above, Fox has at least one assist in 10 of those games. The Rangers offense runs through both Panarin and Fox, so if they are going to win, it’s likely one, or both players, will reach these markers.
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Bets We Like Independent of Outcome
Penguins to win and UNDER 6 Goals (+290, DraftKings)
Tristan Jarry was mentioned earlier because of how good he’s been for the Penguins prior to Tuesday. Getting a mulligan against the Rangers, a team he’s beaten three times this season, ought to provide added incentive to reverse the Penguins fortunes.
Plus, despite getting blown out, the Penguins outshot the Rangers on Tuesday night.
There’s a quirky trend that has been hitting regularly since March 1: Teams in playoff position that outshoot an opponent but lose the game and then play that same opponent in the very next game are 22-7 (75.9%). With Jarry seeking revenge (he hasn’t lost consecutive starts in regulation since Jan. 28-Feb. 6), and the Penguins normally a good defensive team who fit this trend, there’s really good value on this parlay.
Penguins vs. Rangers Prediction
There’s reason to believe the Rangers can claw their way into a playoff spot in the East Division, especially with how well they’ve played lately. They’ll likely make up the ground with a slew of games upcoming against the teams behind them in the standings (New Jersey, Philadelphia and Buffalo). As outlined above, Pittsburgh makes the most sense in this one.
Let’s call it Penguins 3, Rangers 2.
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