The NHL is set up with a strong night of action on Monday night. Five games will be up on the board throughout February 1. One of these games will be between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the New York Rangers. These two teams have had opposite starts to this season so far, but I expect a good one on Monday. The puck will drop at around 7:00 PM Eastern time.
The Penguins have opened up this season with a record of 5-3-1 so far this season, which has them sitting in fourth place of the East Division. Pittsburgh is coming off a win in their last game, which ended a short two game losing streak. The Penguins will look to come out hot in this one as they search for another win to move up the standings.
New York has been able to open up this season with a record of 2-4-2, which has them in last place of the East Division. The Rangers are coming off a loss in their last game and have lost five of their last six games. New York has struggled early in this season, especially against Pittsburgh. The Rangers will look to come out strong in this one to try and get back in the win column.
These two teams have had opposite starts to the season, which has led to Pittsburgh to a playoff spot. New York will look to earn a big win in this one as they try to climb the standings. The Rangers are looking to get going quickly in this one as they try to turn this season around. New York will look to tighten up on the back end as they look to turn it around.
The Penguins and the Rangers have met up three times this season. Pittsburgh hosted the first game on January 22. Phillip Di Giuseppe had two assists on the night to help New York force overtime. Teddy Blueger, Jared McCann and Bryan Rust all scored for the Penguins. Kris Letang scored the game winner in the shootout to propel Pittsburgh to a 4-3 win.
The second game was also hosted by the Penguins on January 24. Colin Blackwell and Ryan Strome scored for the Rangers, but it still was not enough. Sidney Crosby had two assists, while Jake Guentzel, Jared McCann and Bryan Rust all scored for Pittsburgh. Tristan Jarry turned away 24 of 26 shots to help lead the Penguins to a 3-2 win.
New York hosted the third game of the season on January 30. K’Andre Miller had two assists on the night for the Rangers, but it was not enough. Pierre-Oliver Joseph had three assists on the night, while Kasperi Kapanen had a goal and an assist. Eleven different players had a point on the night and Sidney Crosby scored the game winner in overtime.
These two teams have already met up three times throughout this season. Pittsburgh has won all three games to open up this season series. The Rangers have been able to force overtime twice in those three games and will look to finally turn it into a win on Monday night. New York will look to have a better start in this one against the Penguins.
The Penguins have not been great to open up this season on special teams. Pittsburgh has been able to capitalize on 5 of their 31 power play opportunities, which is good for a 16.1 percent power play. The Penguins have been able to hold opposing teams to 8 goals on 31 penalties against, which is a 74.2 percent kill rate. Pittsburgh will look to turn it around on special teams in this one.
New York has not been any better on special teams to open up the new season. The Rangers have scored on 5 of their 34 power play chances, which is a 14.7 percent success rate. New York has been able to kill off 21 of their opponents 28 power play attempts, which is a 74.2 percent penalty kill. The Rangers will also look to get going on special teams in this one.
Neither one of these teams has done great on either side of special teams early in this season. Pittsburgh went 0-4 on the power play on Saturday night, while the Rangers went 1-5 on the power play in the loss. If either team can get their power play going in this one, it could be enough to help propel them to the win on Monday night.
Tristan Jarry will likely get the start in the crease for the Penguins in this one. Jarry has started in six games this season, earning a record of 2-3-1 through his starts. He has posted a .859 save percentage and a GAA of 3.92. Jarry’s last start was against the Boston Bruins, where he stopped 16 of 20 shots in the losing effort.
I expect Igor Shesterkin to get the nod in the net for New York on Monday night. Shesterkin has played in four games this season, putting up a record of 1-2-1 in his starts. He has earned a save percentage of .894 and a 2.73 GAA through his games played. Shesterkin stopped 23 of 25 shots in his last start against the Buffalo Sabres to earn a win.
These two teams have both had their goalies struggle early in this season. Neither goalie has earned a great save percentage and will look to step up in this one. If either goalie can take over early on Monday night, it should be enough to help give their team an edge. I expect both teams to try to tighten up on defense to help their goalies out entering this game.
The Rangers have struggled early in this season, especially against this Pittsburgh team. I think that New York will finally turn that around with a win in this one. The Rangers have struggled to get anything going on the Penguins, but they will look to switch things up at home in this one. I think New York has the better goalie and if their special teams can get going, they should win this one.
BetOnline has Pittsburgh listed as a -109 against the money line in this one. This implies that the Penguins will win this game around 52.2 percent of the time. This gives a slight edge to Pittsburgh, which is right. The Penguins have dominated the Rangers this season so far, but I think New York will be able to finally turn it around with a win in this one.