Pittsburgh Penguins Vs. New York Rangers (5/11/22) Betting Odds, Prediction, Line Combination, Starting Goalies

In Game Four at home, the Pittsburgh Penguins scored five times in the second period to defeat the New York Rangers, 7-2 to take a 3-1 series lead.  Sidney Crosby had a goal and two assists; Jake Guentzel scored a goal while adding an assist and Louis Domingue made 22 saves in the victory. 

Pittsburgh is +650 to win the Eastern Conference in 2021-22 and +1300 to win the Stanley Cup this season; the Penguins won back-to-back titles in 2015-16 and 2016-17.  Pittsburgh has won five Stanley Cups in franchise history.  New York is +1700 to win the Eastern Conference and +3500 to hoist the 2021-22 Stanley Cup; they last won the championship in 1993-94.  The Rangers last played in the Stanley Cup Finals in 2013-14 losing to the Los Angeles Kings.

Pittsburgh Penguins Vs. New York Rangers Betting Odds

The Penguins are currently -650 to win this first round series against the Rangers.  Pittsburgh is 3-7 in their last 10 games as an underdog.  Over is 4-0 in the Penguins last four Conference Quarterfinals games.  Under is 7-3-1 in Pittsburgh’s last 11 after scoring five goals or more in their previous game.  New York is listed at +475 to win the best out of seven first round series against Pittsburgh.  Over is 6-0-2 in the Rangers last eight playoff games as a favorite.  New York is 1-4 in their last five playoff games as a favorite.  Over is 4-0 in the Rangers last four Conference Quarterfinals games.

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.  The two-time Hart Trophy winner was a +19 and averaged 19:58 of ice-time per game.  Crosby is the sixth player in NHL history with 200 career points in the playoffs.   In the series, he has nine points (two goals and seven assists).  The two-time Conn Smythe Trophy winner is +2800 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.  Guentzel is the first player in Penguins history to score in each of their first four games of a single postseason, per NHL.com.  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 five points (one goal and four 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.  In the first round he’s scored two goals; he has 66 career postseason goals.  Jeff Carter who scored 19 goals in the regular season has tallied three goals in the first round series against the Rangers.  Carter has 46 career postseason goals while winning two Stanley Cups with the Los Angeles Kings.

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. He also blocked 122 shots and had 171 hits.  Letang has 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 scored his first goal of the first round in the Game Four win; he has five points in the series. 

Louis Domingue, the Penguins number three goalie has played well with Tristan Jarry out with an injury and number two goaltender Casey DeSmith out for the season due to core muscle surgery.  Domingue has made 106 saves on 117 shots (.906 save percentage) with a GAA of 3.40 in the series vs. New York.  

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 five points (two goals and three 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 had 13 points in 22 regular season games for the Rangers after being acquired from Florida in March.  Against Pittsburgh in the first round, he has two goals and two assists.

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 two goals in Game Four but was a -3 in the loss.  Jacob Trouba was the team leader in blocked shots with 177 and second in hits with 207.  Second on the Rangers in plus/minus at +25, Trouba averaged 22:26 of ice time this year.   In his third season with New York, he totaled 39 points (11 goals and 28 assists) in 2021-22.   

Igor Shesterkin was 36-13-4 with a .935 save percentage (first in the league) and a 2.07 GAA (first in the NHL).  But, in the last two games New York’s goalie has struggled being pulled in both games, in Game Four he was replaced by backup Alexander Georgiev after allowing six goals on 30 shots.  Shersterkin has a .905 save percentage and GAA of 4.26 in the first round. 

Pittsburgh Penguins Vs. New York Rangers Picks & Prediction

During the regular season, Pittsburgh scored 3.3 goals per game, ranking them 11th in the NHL.  Through the first four games of the first round, the Penguins have scored 20 goals: five goals per game.  On the defensive side, Pittsburgh allowed 2.7 goals per contest which was fifth in the league.  The Penguins are 1-4 in their last 5 games as a road underdog.  The home team is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings.  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.  In the first round through four games, the Rangers are allowing five goals per game; more than double their regular season average.  New York is 21-9 in their last 30 games as a home favorite.

This series has been completely disappointing as I saw the Rangers as a “dark horse” favorite to win the Stanley Cup, but their defense has imploded giving up 14 goals in the last two games.   I see the Penguins, led by Sidney Crosby, playing like the elite player he is going on the road and wrapping up the series in five games: clinching the series with a 5-2 victory with the teams combining for over six goals. 

Pittsburgh Penguins Vs. New York Rangers 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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