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Tuesday night features the second game of a two-game series between the New York Rangers and the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh has won four of five meetings between these two teams, including last night’s 5-1 victory.
New York Looking to Get Back on Track
The Rangers currently stand in sixth place in the East Division and 23rd in the NHL with 23 points. Before last night’s 5-1 loss in Pittsburgh, they’d won four of five games.
Mika Zibanejad scored the lone goal in three shots on goal. Pavel Buchnevic leads the team with 19 points (seven goals, 12 assists), Artemi Panarin leads in assists with 13, 18 overall, and Chris Kreider leads in goals with 13.
One week till we get to see you at our house again.
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) March 8, 2021
The Rangers average 2.83 goals scored per game, and allow an average of 2.70 goals to opponents. They’re 26th in the league on the powerplay, only converting 15.5% of their opportunities, but are fourth in the league for penalty kill at 87%.
Igor Shesterkin anchors the goaltender tandem with a 6-7-1 record, .921 save percentage, and 2.31 GAA. Alexander Georgiev has a 4-3-2 record, .897 save percentage, and 3.03 GAA. Shesterkin is coming back from injury, and may be limited until the Rangers can be sure he’s back to 100% health.
Pittsburgh Trying to Dominate Season Series
The Penguins are 4-1 against the Rangers so far this year and will have two more meetings later this season after Tuesday’s game. A win on Tuesday night would truly dominate the series and be a great boost for a team that’s now won two straight. They are fourth in their division with 29 points, 13th overall in the NHL.
Pittsburgh had five different goal-scorers last night: Kasperi Kapanen, Evgeni Malkin, Zach Aston-Reese, John Marino, and Sidney Crosby. Crosby leads the team with 22 points (eight points, 14 assists).
The Penguins have re-assigned forward Josh Currie, defenseman Josh Maniscalco, and goaltender Emil Larmi to the @WBSPenguins.
Defenseman Mark Friedman has been placed on injured reserve retroactive to March 4.
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) March 8, 2021
They score an average of 3.08 goals per game, and allow an average of 3.13 goals per game to opponents. They struggle on the powerplay, ranking 24th in the league while converting on only 16.9% of their chances. The penalty kill struggles as well at 26th in the league while killing 74% of penalties.
The goaltending tandem has struggled. Tristan Jarry has a 9-7-1 record with .897 save percentage and 3.12 GAA, Casey DeSmith is 5-2-0 with a .901 save percentage and 2.52 GAA.
Rangers are 0-5 in their last 5 in the third game of a 3-in-4 situation.
Rangers are 1-5 in their last 6 meetings with Penguins in Pittsburgh.
The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Rangers aren’t as bad a team as their numbers would suggest, but the goalie situation is concerning. Until Shesterkin is back in goal, it’s tough to have much confidence in the Rangers long-term. Pittsburgh, on the other hand, has already lit up the New York defense and it’s hard to imagine a major swing coming before tomorrow night. Pittsburgh wins.
Want another opinion on this pick?
Full-Game Total Pick
The Rangers struggled to get their offense going last time out. They managed only 24 shots on goal, and DeSmith stopped all but one of them. They put out both Georgiev and Keith Kinkaid in goal, who had a nightmare of a night. Pittsburgh has the potential to put up big numbers, but their track record shows a five-goal outing isn’t likely. Go with the under.