New York Rangers Vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (5/13/22) Betting Odds, Prediction, Line Combination, Starting Goalies

Filip Chytil scored the go-ahead goal in the third period, as the New York Rangers avoided a first-round elimination with a 5-3 victory at Madison Square Garden over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night.  Alexis Lafreniere had a goal and assist while Igor Shesterkin made 29 saves in New York’s victory.  The teams head to Pittsburgh for Game Six with the Penguins up 3-2 in the series. 

New York is +1400 to win the Eastern Conference and +2800 to capture the 2021-22 Stanley Cup; New York last hoisted the Stanley Cup in 1993-94.  Their last time playing in the Stanley Cup Finals was 2013-14; they lost to the Los Angeles Kings.  Pittsburgh is +850 to win the Eastern Conference in 2021-22 and +1700 to win the Stanley Cup this year; the Penguins won back-to-back titles in 2015-16 and 2016-17.  Pittsburgh has won five Stanley Cups in franchise history. 

New York Rangers Vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Betting Odds

The Penguins are currently -220 to win their first round series against the Rangers.  Pittsburgh is 14-5 in their last 19 games as a home underdog.  Over is 5-0 in the Penguins last five playoff games as an underdog.  Over is 5-0 in Pittsburgh’s last five Conference Quarterfinals games.  The home team is 4-0 in the last four meetings between the Penguins and Rangers.  New York is listed at +180 to win the best out of seven first round series against Pittsburgh.  The Rangers are 1-4 in their last five playoff games as a favorite.  Over is 5-0 in New York’s last five Conference Quarterfinals games.  The Rangers are 1-7 in the last eight meetings in Pittsburgh against the Penguins.  Over is 7-0-2 in New York’s last nine playoff games as a favorite.

New York Rangers Analysis

Artemi Panarin was New York’s leading scorer this year with 96 points (22 goals and 74 assists).  Playing his third season with the Rangers, he had 37 points on the power play (five goals and 32 assists) and was tied for second on the club with five game winning goals.  Panarin leads New York in playoff scoring with six points (two goals and four assists).  Chris Kreider scored 52 goals this year, third in the NHL.  He finished the 2021-22 regular season with 77 points and was a +19.  New York’s number 20 led the NHL in power play goals with 26.  In the series against the Penguins, he’s scored two goals: four points overall.  Mika Zibanejad finished the season as the Rangers second leading scorer with 81 points (29 goals and 52 assists) and led New York in plus/minus at +30.  The center in his 11th season, scored 15 power play goals and three game winning goals. In the first round, Zibanejad has four assists.   Frank Vatrano and Andrew Copp both picked up by New York in March have combined for nine points (five goals and four assists) in the first round series vs. Pittsburgh.

Adam Fox was fourth among defensemen in scoring this season with 74 points (11 goals and 63 assists).  The 23-year-old is +18 and ranked third on the team in blocked shots with 128.  He averaged a team leading 23:54 of ice time per game in 2021-22.  He scored one of the Rangers five goals in Game Five averaging 26:25 of ice time.  Jacob Trouba was the team leader in blocked shots with 177 and second in hits with 207.  In his third season with New York, he totaled 39 points (11 goals and 28 assists) in 2021-22.   Trouba had two points (one goal and one assist) in Wednesday’s victory over the Penguins and was a +3. 

Igor Shesterkin was 36-13-4 with a .935 save percentage (first in the league) and a 2.07 GAA (first in the NHL) in the 2021-22 regular season.  He has struggled in the postseason being pulled from both the third and fourth games of the series.  He’s made 182 saves on 201 shot attempts (.905 save percentage) and a 3.99 GAA. 

Pittsburgh Penguins Analysis

Penguins captain, Sidney Crosby was tied for the team lead in scoring with 84 points (31 goals and 53 assists) this season. The three-time Stanley Cup winner had 30 points on the power play and led the club with nine game winning goals.  Crosby was injured in the second period of Game Five and was being evaluated for an upper body injury after the game; if he’s unable to play in the next game that would be a huge blow to the Penguins.  In the series, he has nine points (two goals and seven assists).  The two-time Conn Smythe Trophy winner is +3500 to win the 2021-22 Conn Smythe Trophy.  Jake Guentzel was tied with Crosby for the team lead in scoring with 84 points; also leading the team in goals with 40.  He had 22 points on the power play in 2021-22.  In the loss on Wednesday, Guentzel scored two goals; he has seven goals in the series and has scored in every game.  He’s +2800 to win the Conn Smythe Trophy this year.  Bryan Rust has 58 points in 2021-22 (24 goals and 34 assists).  He was a +7 while averaging 18:46 of ice time per game for the Penguins.  He has six points (one goal and five assists) in the first round series against the Rangers.  Due to off season knee surgery, Evgeni Malkin played in 41 games this campaign.  The 2011-12 Hart Trophy winner has 42 points (20 goals and 22 assists) in his limited time on the ice this campaign.  Malkin scored nine power play goals and five game winning goals in 2021-22.  On Wednesday night he had two assists; the Penguins number 71 has five points in the first round.
Kris Letang led the Penguins blueliners in scoring this season with 68 points (10 goals and 58 assists).  The two-time Stanley Cup winner was second on the team in plus/minus at +20 while logging the most ice time per game by a Pittsburgh defenseman at 25:47. Additionally, he blocked 122 shots and had 171 hits.  Letang has four points (one goal and three assists) in the series vs. the Rangers.  Mike Matheson had 31 points in 74 games this season.  He scored five game winning goals, scoring 11 goals overall in 2021-22.  He was a +12 while blocking 81 shots and delivering 97 hits this year.  Matheson is tied for third on the team in postseason points this season with six (one goal and five assists).

Louis Domingue made 29 saves in the Game Five loss to the Rangers.  The 29-year-old, goaltender has made 135 saves on 150 shots (.900 save percentage) with a GAA of 3.56 in the series vs. New York.

New York Rangers Vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Picks & Prediction

The Rangers scored three goals per contest during the regular season, 17th in the NHL.  Defensively New York allowed 2.5 goals per game, second overall.  The Rangers are 64-27 in their last 91 games as a road favorite.  New York is 0-4 in their last four after scoring five goals or more in their previous game.  During the regular season, Pittsburgh scored 3.3 goals per game, ranking them 11th in the NHL.  In their two victories at home in the series vs. New York, they’ve scored 14 goals.  Defensively, Pittsburgh allowed 2.7 goals per contest which was fifth in the league.  The Penguins are 3-8 in their last 11 games as an underdog.  Pittsburgh is 8-1 in their last nine after allowing five goals or more in their previous game.

New York was a team I really liked heading into the playoffs to be an “under radar” team to win the Eastern Conference and go onto to win their first Stanley Cup in almost 30 years, but the Rangers strength which is goaltending as failed them.  Probable Vezina Trophy winner Igor Shesterkin has been awful at times in the first round.  Penguins all-time great, Sidney Crosby is injured and that of course can completely change the complexion of the series.  I’m going with the Rangers to win Game Six on the road and send the series back to New York for a seventh game.  The Rangers do not cover the 1.5 goal spread and the teams combine for under six goals. 

New York Rangers Vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Starting Goalies & Line Combination

Scott is graduate of Hofstra University and has worked in the sports media for over 20 years as a Producer and Writer. His dream is to see the New York Jets one day hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy. He lives outside of Chicago with his wife and two children.

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