The Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers will close down a two-game set at Madison Square Garden in New York on the first day of February, so here’s the best betting pick for this East Division showdown along with the latest NHL odds on BetRivers Sportsbook.
The Penguins and Rangers already had a two-game series in January, and Pittsburgh outlasted New York at home on both occasions, 4-3 in a shootout and 3-2. Last Saturday, the Pens won another shootout over the Broadway Blueshirts, 5-4.
Pittsburgh looks to wrap up a four-game road trip in style
After those two wins over the Rangers, the Pittsburgh Penguins (5-3-1) hit the road to play a two-game set at TD Garden in Boston. They lost to the Bruins 3-2 in overtime and 4-1, so Saturday’s victory was a huge relief for the Pens who won six of their previous eight encounters with the New York Rangers.
It was a proper nail-biter at Madison Square Garden, as the Pens had a one-goal lead three times before the Rangers scored twice in a row to make it 4-3 at the end of the second period. Jake Guentzel scored his third goal of the season to force overtime, while Sidney Crosby hit the winner for Pittsburgh.
The Penguins score exactly three goals per game (tied-14th in the NHL) while yielding 3.78 in a return (30th). Casey DeSmith guarded the cage on Saturday, improving to 3-0-0 on the season while posting a 3.05 GAA with a .875 save percentage. Tristan Jarry is 2-3-1 with a poor 3.92 GAA and a .859 save percentage.
New York hopes to get things going on the home ice
While the Penguins hold the fourth spot in the East Division, the New York Rangers (2-4-2) sit bottom of the standings. They put an end to a four-game losing streak last Thursday, outlasting the Buffalo Sabres 3-2 in overtime as -125 road favorites, but the Rangers couldn’t finish the job against Pittsburgh on Saturday.
Four different guts scored for New York including Artemi Panarin who leads the way for the Rangers this season with four goals and five assists. New York desperately needs more from Mika Zibanejad, as the 27-year-old center has just two points in eight appearances.
The Rangers tally only 2.75 goals per game (21st in the league) while surrendering 3.00 in a return (tied-19th). Alexandar Georgiev played between the pipes in the previous clash against the Pens and posted 33 saves on 38 shots. He’s 1-2-1 with a 3.27 GAA and a .886 save percentage, while Igor Shesterkin has a 1-2-1 record with a 2.73 GAA and a .894 save percentage.
- 1-6 in the last seven road games
The Penguins haven’t impressed thus far, especially on the defensive end. They allow the second-most goals per game even though the Penguins’ rivals take only 27.3 shots per contest (eighth-fewest in the NHL).
Hereof, I expect the Rangers to regroup following a tough loss and beat the Pens in this one. They have some serious defensive problems, too, but the Rangers also have some very talented forwards. I hope they’ve learned something from three straight losses to Pittsburgh in less than two weeks.
Pick: Take New York Rangers at +100
Considering their previous encounter and all the defensive flaws in their games, the Penguins and Rangers should provide us another high-scoring affair. The over has hit in 15 of the last 18 meetings between the Pens and Rangers which is another reason to bet on the over.
Furthermore, the over is 6-3 in Pittsburgh’s nine games this season, and it is 5-1 in New York’s previous six contests played in February.
Pick: Go over 6.5 goals at +107