The Pittsburgh Penguins make the second stop on their six-game road trip after splitting a pair of games with the Bruins in Boston last week.
Let’s take a look at this matchup from a betting perspective in our Penguins vs. Rangers betting preview with odds, picks and predictions.
Despite the speed bump against Boston on Saturday, a game in which the defensive-minded Penguins lost 7-5, allowing more than three goals in a game for the first time in a month, Pittsburgh comes into this contest with New York with a 13-4-1 in its last 18 games. They sit comfortably in a playoff spot in the East Division.
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If the Rangers want to hunt down and pass Boston for a postseason spot, they will have to figure out how to topple a Penguins team that has beaten them five out of six times so far this season (1-3-2),
Penguins vs. Rangers Betting Pick
The Rangers have been a better team since the last time they played the Penguins, going 7-4-2, but with only two games remaining against each of the Flyers and Bruins, the Rangers are going to have to make up ground against other division foes.
The Penguins had to play both games in Boston and before that wo-thirds of a game against the New York Islanders without starting goalie Tristan Jarry. Backup Casey DeSmith filled in admirably, but there’s no doubt the Penguins are better with Jarry in net.
After a terrible first month, Jarry righted the ship. Since Valentine’s Day, he is 13-4-1 with a 2.36 GAA and a .926 save percentage.
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Offensively, Jake Guentzel has paced the Penguins with points in 12 of his last 14 games (9-8-17).
The Rangers offense looks a lot different since Mika Zibanejad woke up from hibernation. Zibanejad has 17 points in the last 10 games (9g, 8a). In those 10 games, the Rangers have outscored their opponents 41-23.
They’ve also been getting great goaltending from Igor Shesterkin. Shesterkin is 5-1-1 in his last seven starts with a 1.99 GAA and a .937 SvPct.
Penguins vs. Rangers Odds
Here are the lines for Penguins vs. Rangers at DraftKings Sportsbook:
Spread: Penguins (+1.5 -245); Rangers (-1.5 +200)
Moneyline: Penguins (+107); Rangers (-124)
Over/Under: Over 6 (-115)/Under 6 (-106)
Bets We Like With a Penguins Win
Sidney Crosby 2+ Points (+165, DraftKings)
Not including the shootout, the Penguins have scored 21 goals in six games against the Rangers this season. Their the three leading scorers in those games? Kasperi Kapanen, Evgeni Malkin, and Crosby.
Well, Kapanen and Malkin are hurt and won’t play, meaning if the Penguins are going to win this game, it’s likely going to be on the shoulders of their captain. Crosby has already posted 13 multipoint games this season, including five times in his last eight games.
Bets We Like With a Rangers Win
UNDER 6 goals(-106, BetMGM)
We’ve already highlighted how well Jarry and Shesterkin have been playing, but Shesterkin has allowed more than two goals in a game just once since Feb. 28.
The Penguins are a defensive-minded team. The Rangers need to win to hang in the playoff race. If they are going to do so, it’ll probably be a low-scoring affair. If you like the Rangers, take the under.
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Bets We Like Independent of Outcome
Adam Fox OVER 0.5 assists (-108, FanDuel)
One of the most underrated young defensemen in the NHL, Fox is an assists machine. He is tied with Tampa’s Victor Hedman for the most in the NHL by a defenseman with 29 assists. He’s had at least one assist in nine of his last 10 games and 16 total in that stretch. This seems like easy cash, especially at such value.
Penguins vs. Rangers Prediction
This one is all about the goaltending and team defense. The Penguins have so many injuries that they’ve been relying on structure to get them through games, and they have mostly limited their opponents’ offensive chances.
Meanwhile, Shesterkin is flat-out a brick wall in goal for New York. This one has extra time written all over it.
The Rangers have better shootout players. That’s the difference.
Let’s call it Rangers 3, Penguins 2, in a shootout.
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