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

In triple overtime, the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden 4-3 to open their first round series.  In the loss, New York goaltender Igor Shesterkin made an incredible 79 saves, a Rangers record, and the second-most saves in a Stanley Cup Playoff game since 1955-56.  Penguins star Evgeni Malkin scored 5:58 into the third overtime to give Pittsburgh the victory and spoil New York’s Shesterkin’s unbelievable game. 

Pittsburgh is +800 to win the Eastern Conference in 2021-22 and +1600 to win the Stanley Cup this season; the Penguins won back-to-back titles in 2015-16 and 2016-17.  New York is +900 to win the Eastern Conference and +1800 to hoist the 2021-22 Stanley Cup; they last won the title in 1993-94. 

Pittsburgh Penguins Vs. New York Rangers Betting Odds

The Penguins are currently -175 to win this first round series against the Rangers.   Pittsburgh is 0-4 in their last four Conference Quarterfinals games.  The Penguins are 1-6 in their last seven games as an underdog.  Under is 4-1 in Pittsburgh’s last five playoff games as an underdog.  New York is listed at +150 to win the best out of seven first round series against Pittsburgh.  The Rangers are 3-7 in their last 10 playoff games as a favorite.  Under is 3-0-1 in New York’s last four Conference Quarterfinals games.  Under is 18-7-1 in the Rangers last 26 Thursday 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.  In game one on Tuesday night against the Rangers he had two assists.  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.  Additionally, Guentzel was a +13 while averaging 20:06 of ice time per game.  In the playoff opener against New York the sixth-year center scored two goals.  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.  In game one against the Rangers, Rust had a goal and two assists.  Evgeni Malkin played in 41 games this year after missing most of the first half of the season (knee surgery).  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.   

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.  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.

Tristan Jarry, the Penguins number one goalie this season is out due to injury until at least game three.  Backup Casey DeSmith played well in game one making 48 saves before leaving with a lower-body injury 9:18 into the second overtime. He was replaced by Louis Domingue who made 17 saves and became the first goalie to enter an NHL playoff game in the second overtime or later, per NHL.com.

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 has 28 points in 31 career playoff games.  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.  He averaged 18:44 of ice time and delivered 141 hits.  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 game one loss to Pittsburgh, he had 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’s averaged a team leading 23:54 of ice time per game in 2021-22.  In the game one loss to Pittsburgh, Fox scored a goal.   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 one of the best players during the 2021-22 regular season.  He was 36-13-4 with a .935 save percentage (first in the league) and a 2.07 GAA (first in the NHL).  New York’s number 31 also has six shutouts this season: ranking him third in the NHL. 

Pittsburgh Penguins Vs. New York Rangers 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 20-8 in their last 28 games as a home favorite.   I like the Rangers to avenge their triple overtime loss in game one and even the series at one.  With New York’s Shesterkin in net, I’ll go with New York winning by 1.5 goals and the teams to combine for under 5.5 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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