Pittsburgh Penguins vs New York Rangers NHL Pick – Game 1

The NHL is set up with a strong slate of playoff hockey on Tuesday night. Four games are up on the board throughout May 3. One of these games will be between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the New York Rangers. These two teams will look to come out fast to open up this series. This game will drop the puck at around 7:00 PM Eastern time on ESPN.

Pittsburgh finished out the regular season with a record of 46-25-11, which had them in third place of the Metropolitan division. The Penguins are coming off a win in their last game of the regular season, but won three of their last five. Pittsburgh will to carry some momentum into this series. I expect the Penguins to come out fast on the road in this one.

The Rangers put up a record of 52-24-6 throughout the regular season, which had them earn the second seed in the Metropolitan division. New York won their last game, which ended a three game losing streak. The Rangers will look to step up early in this series. New York will look to earn a big win at home on Tuesday night.

These two teams have been solid throughout this season and will look for a big win in this one. The Penguins will look to come out fast on the road, while New York will look to step up in their return to the postseason. Both teams will look to get out to a quick start on offense in this one. If either team can come out fast, it could be enough for the win.

Game Overview

The following odds are courtesy of Bovada:

Teams Spread Money Line Total
Pittsburgh Penguins +1 ½ (-240) +105 Over 5 ½ (+105)
New York Rangers -1 ½ (+200) -125 Under 5 ½ (-125)

 

Team Data Pittsburgh Penguins New York Rangers
Overall Record 46-25-11 52-24-6
Away/ Home Record 23-12-6 27-10-4
Goals Per Game 3.28 3.05
Goals Per Game Away/ Home 3.05 3.15
Save Percentage .914 .919
Save Percentage Away/ Home .917 .925

Betting Trends

Pittsburgh Penguins

  • 7-11 on Tuesday nights
  • 7-2 when playing on three or more days rest
  • 14-12 against divisional opponents
  • 13-12 after a division game
  • 19-12 after a win by two or more goals
  • 18-16 after scoring four goals or more
  • 21-21 against team with a winning record

New York Rangers

  • 8-6 on Tuesday nights
  • 6-1 when playing on three or more days rest
  • 16-10 against divisional opponents
  • 17-8 after a division game
  • 5-1 after three or more straight home games
  • 23-17 against team with a winning record

These two teams met up four times throughout the regular season. Pittsburgh earned a 1-0 win in the first game at home. The Rangers were able to win the next three games though. Chris Kreider had three goals and two assists over the next three games as New York earned the series win. The Rangers will look to remain successful against Pittsburgh.

Special Teams

The Penguins have been strong on special teams throughout this season. Pittsburgh has scored on 50 of their 245 power play chances, which is a 20.4 percent power play. The Penguins have killed off 276 of their opponents 207 power play attempts, which is an 85 percent kill rate. Pittsburgh was 19th on the power play and 3rd on the kill this season.

New York was also strong on special teams during the regular season. The Rangers have capitalized on 55 of their 216 power play opportunities, which is a 25.5 percent success rate. New York has given up 39 power play goals on 221 penalties against, which is an 82.4 percent penalty kill. The Rangers were 4th on the man advantage and 7th on the penalty kill.

These two teams have been solid on special teams throughout the regular season. Pittsburgh has the better penalty kill, but the Rangers have the better power play. New York will look to attack on the power play early in this series. If either team can get a power play goal in this one, it could be enough for the win in this one.

Goaltending Comparison

I expect Casey DeSmith to get the start in the crease for Pittsburgh in this one. DeSmith has earned a record of 11-6-5 throughout his 24 starts on the season. He has posted a .914 save percentage and a GAA of 2.79 in those outings. DeSmith finished with 33 saves on 36 shots in his last start against the Columbus Blue Jackets, which was enough for the win.

Igor Shesterkin will likely get the nod between the pipes for the Rangers on Tuesday night. Shesterkin played in 53 games this season, going 36-13-4 in those matchups. He has put up a save percentage of .935 and a 2.07 GAA in those starts. Shesterkin’s last start was against the Carolina Hurricanes. He stopped 32 of 36 shots in the loss.

These two goalies have been solid this season and will look for a big win in this one. DeSmith will look to step up with Tristan Jarry out to start this lineup. Shesterkin is the favorite for the Vezina Trophy and will look to take over early in this series. If either goalie can come out quickly in this one, it could be enough for the win in Game 1.

Pick Overview

These two teams have been solid throughout this season and will look for a big win in this one. The Penguins have struggled a bit more this season, but have the leadership to make a run this postseason. New York won the last three games against Pittsburgh in the regular season. If the Penguins can come out fast, I think they can pull off the upset.

Bovada has the Rangers listed as a -125 against the money line in this one. This implies that New York will win this game around 55.6 percent of the time. I think that this line should be a bit closer to even with both teams looking to step up in this series. As underdogs in this one, I like the value on Pittsburgh to pull off the upset on the road.

The Bet
Pittsburgh Penguins
+105
Andruw Burling / Author

Andruw Burling has been writing sports picks since 2017, covering mainly NHL and NBA content, but doing work in other sports as well. Andruw grew up in Las Vegas and has been around sports since a young age. He grew up a huge NHL and NBA fan and continues to use that knowledge in his content today.

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