Rangers at Penguins Picks
By Adam Markowitz
Two long-time rivals will square off once again when the Pittsburgh Penguins play host to the New York Rangers this Tuesday. Pittsburgh has been on a tear after struggling through the early part of the season and has now won four in a row after losing three in a row heading into Thanksgiving. Meanwhile, New York has turned it around recently too. The Rangers have won five of their last six and Henrik Lundqvist is finally starting to look like The King again.
New York Rangers at Pittsburgh Penguins
Date and Time: Tuesday, December 5, 2017, 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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Rangers at Penguins TV Coverage: NBCSN
The over has typically been a great bet when these teams meet up. In the last eight meetings between the Rangers and the Penguins, the over is 8-1-1. Additionally, the road team has had the better of it lately in this series, with the visiting side winning seven of the last 10 games.
Pittsburgh has won its last four because the offense has kicked it into another gear. The Penguins have scored 19 goals over those four games and unsurprisingly won all four. That has helped them even up what was an awful goal differential at the start of the season. This has been a completely different team at home than it has been away. Pittsburgh is 9-2-1 at home on the season.
The Rangers have not been away from the Big Apple much so far this season. They have only played eight of their 26 games on the road and that doesn’t fare well for their playoff chances as they are currently sixth in the Metropolitan Division right now. New York is just 3-5 away from Madison Square Garden.
Tristan Jarry has been fantastic in relief of regular goaltender Matt Murray. Murray was injured against Philadelphia back on November 28 and is considered out for at least a few weeks with a lower-body injury.
In his stead, Jarry has been fantastic. He has led the Penguins to the win in each of their last four games and has only allowed five goals in 205 minutes of ice time during that stretch.
Jarry has been the team’s backup goaltender ever since the team got rid of Antti Niemi after three disastrous performances and has looked very good in the role. He has a .937 save percentage and a 1.99 GAA to boot. Jarry should get the start again on Tuesday after two days of rest.
It was a high scoring affair the last time these two teams played. Both Murray and Lundqvist had trouble shutting down the opposition as the offenses swarmed the net with impunity.
Pittsburgh got off to a 2-0 lead with goals from Phil Kessel and Carl Hagelin in the first frame, but the Rangers got three goals in a span of two and a half minutes midway through the second. Two of those came on a power play as Sidney Crosby uncharacteristically lost his cool and got a double minor for high sticking.
The game turned five minutes later when Crosby and Hagelin went to the box within three seconds of each other giving the Rangers a five on three. This time they couldn’t convert and Pittsburgh actually drew a penalty on the tail end of the five on three. PatricHornqvist scored to tie the game up and the Crosby and Evgeni Malkin turned it on late to give Pittsburgh the 5-4 win.
Rangers at Penguins Free Picks
This game should have less scoring now that Lundqvist is playing well. He had his share of woes through the early part of the season, but has allowed just nine goals in his last six starts. He did get run by Florida in the Rangers lone loss over those last six, but probably needed the rest.
I think the under is going to be the play here as the total should come out at 5.5 or 6. Lundqvist has been particularly good when given two days of rest or more and Jarry is looking good.
Rangers at Penguins Pick: Bet the under
Rangers at Penguins Score Prediction: Penguins2 – Rangers 1