Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook.
|New York Rangers||-1.5
New York Rangers beat Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2
Pittsburgh Penguins cover
Under 5.5 goals
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The Pittsburgh Penguins will look to take a 2-0 lead against the New York Rangers in this game. The Rangers may have lost Game One but beat the Penguins four times in five games during the season.
Game One was an intense battle between two pretty even teams. The Penguins won 4-3 on a triple-overtime Evgeni Malkin goal.
The Pittsburgh Penguins were mediocre for many parts of the season but went on a few long winning streaks that put them in a good position heading into the playoffs.
A trio of veterans leads the Penguins. Sidney Crosby, Jake Guentzel, and Kris Letang stand out on the Penguins and are the veterans that helped put Pittsburgh in a strong position. Crosby is one of the more seasoned players in the league but still knows how to score and set up his teammates. He is often on the ice with winger Jake Guentzel. Guentzel is seven years younger than Crosby and has been in the NHL since 2016. He is the leading goal-scorer on the Penguins and put the puck in the back of the net 40 times this season. Kris Letang is the top defenseman on the Penguins. The 34-year-old led the Penguins in TOI (25:46) and assists (58).
The Penguins have a dicey goaltending situation. They are without Tristan Jarry, their starting goaltender, and must depend on Casey DeSmith and Louis Dominique. DeSmith and Dominique both played in Game One.
The New York Rangers lost three of their last four regular season games but had a very strong second half. They lost some games but went on a lot of small winning streaks.
The Rangers have some top players in Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad, Chris Kreider, and Adam Fox. Panarin is tied for the 11th-most points in the league at 96, Zibanejad is an impressive center with 52 assists, Krieder has the second-most goals in the NHL at 52, and Fox is regarded as one of the best defensemen the NHL has to offer.
Even though the Rangers lost Game One, Igor Shesterkin came away with an outrageous 79 saves. He played every minute of the game and put on a masterclass in goaltending. Shesterkin will probably play in Game Two and will continue to be highly depended on. Shesterkin has led the Rangers all season and will continue to in the playoffs.
The Rangers lost Game One but should leave New York victorious after Game Two. This series will be a back-and-forth one, and Game Two will go in the Rangers’ favor.
|Pittsburgh Penguins||Head-to-Head||New York Rangers|
|Mike Sullivan||Head Coach||Gerald Gallant|
|46-25-12 (3rd in Metropolitan Division)||Standing||52-24-6 (2nd in Metropolitan Division)|
|Leaders (Regular Season)|
|Jake Guentzle (84)||Points||Artemi Panarin (96)|
|Jake Guentzel (40)||Goals||Chris Kreider (52)|
|Kris Letang (58)||Assists||Artemi Panarin (74)|
|Brian Dumoulin (24)||+/-||Mika Zibanejad (30)|
|Jake Guentzel (3.47)||Shots (Per Game)||Chris Kreider (3.19)|
The Pittsburgh Penguins are again not favored to win this game. However, they can win and build a 2-0 lead with strong defense.
It is no secret that the Penguins can score; they average 3.28 goals on 34.7 shots per game. The real test the Penguins will face is on defense. Pittsburgh will be without starting goaltender Tristan Jerry again in this game. The Penguins’ backup goaltenders played very well in Game One (they had 65 saved on 68 shots), but it is unlikely they will perform as well this game. The Penguins need to play excellent defense and not depend on strong goaltending.
The Rangers are the favorites and need this win before heading to Pittsburgh. They will win if they draw penalties and pass to Chris Kreider.
The Rangers have the fourth-best power-play unit in the NHL; they convert on over 25% of their power-play attempts. This series will have a lot of close games, and the Rangers will need to draw penalties. They need to give themselves a man advantage and use it to build a lead in this game and every other game in this series.
Chris Kreider was New York’s best player in Game One; he finished with one goal (on six shots) and one assist. He has the hot hand right now, and New York needs to continue feeding him the puck in Game Two.
Jake Guentzel was Pittsburgh’s top scorer during the regular season and is Pittsburgh’s top score during the playoffs. He had two of the Penguins’ four goals in Game One. He will be heavily depended on during the Penguins’ playoff run and needs to keep shooting the puck in this game. If he puts a lot of shots on net, he will score a few goals.
Adam Fox is a top defenseman in the NHL. He had 69 assists during the regular season and a +/- of 18. He was tied for a team-leading 44:28 in the Rangers triple-overtime Game One and had one goal.
Fox needs to take charge of the defense and help stop the Pittsburgh offense.
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|Pittsburgh Penguins vs New York Rangers Information|
|What||Pittsburgh Penguins vs New York Rangers|
|Where||Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York|
|When||Thursday, May 5, 7:00 PM EST|
|How to Watch||TNT|
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Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]More info on Max Heering
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