The New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins are set to square off for Game 4 of their first-round playoff series. This has been one of the best matchups in the first round of the NHL Playoffs, with some closely contested games including a triple-overtime thriller in Game 1. As it stands, the Penguins hold a 2-1 series lead over the Rangers, who will be looking to steal a win on the road before the series returns to New York. We’re back with our NHL odds series with a Rangers-Penguins prediction and pick.
Here are the Rangers-Penguins NHL odds, Courtesy of FanDuel
NHL Odds: Rangers-Penguins Odds
New York Rangers: -1.5 (+205) (-118 ML)
Pittsburgh Penguins: +1.5 (-255) (-102 ML)
Over: 6 (-110)
Under: 6 (-110)
*Watch NHL Games LIVE with fuboTV (click for free trial)
Why The Rangers Can Cover The Spread/Win
The Rangers desperately want to avoid falling down 3-1 in the series, and they’ll be determined to steal a road win in on Monday night in order to even things up before returning home to New York. Igor Shesterkin will likely be back in net for Game 4 after a disastrous Game 3 saw him surrender four goals in the first period before being replaced by Alexandar Georgiev. Shesterkin is a genuine MVP candidate and one of the best goalies in hockey. Coming off one of the worst games of his career, the star goaltender should be locked in and looking to redeem himself. If Shesterkin is his usual self, don’t expect the Penguins to have such an easy time putting the puck past him.
Meanwhile, the Rangers offense has been effective, getting contributions from a large variety of players, including the usual suspects of Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider, as well as Frank Vatrano, Adam Fox, and trade deadline acquisition Andrew Copp. Copp has been huge for the Rangers in this series, providing 3 goals in the series, and will look to stay hot on Monday night.
Why The Penguins Can Cover The Spread/Win
As we saw in Game 3, the Penguins are able to produce offensively even if their first line isn’t playing at its best. The likes of Jake Guenztel, Sidney Crosby, and Bryan Rust all struggled to get involved in Game 3, as it was Jeff Carter and Evan Rodrigues’ line that did most of the damage early on. While Guenztel added an empty-net goal, and Crosby stole two assists, also on empty-netters, it was the depth of the Penguins that saw them prevail in Game 3. They’ll be eager to take advantage of playing on their home ice before returning to New York, and know they deal a huge blow to the Rangers’ chances if they’re able to take a 3-1 lead.
Experience will play a huge role in this one, and there’s no player in this game that’s better suited to the big stage than Sidney Crosby. After a somewhat disappointing Game 3, despite the two points, Crosby will be looking to take over in Game 4 and leave his mark on the series. Evgeni Malkin, who has had a somewhat disappointing series apart from his game-winner in triple overtime, will also look to step up and help the Penguins win their third game of the series. These two teams match up very well, and when push comes to shove, it may be veteran leadership and experience that decides the game.
Final Rangers-Penguins Prediction & Pick
While the Penguins have the advantage of playing on their home ice, I think Igor Shesterkin will be the difference-maker in this one. He’ll be playing with a chip on his shoulder after his disastrous Game 3 and will do everything in his power to keep Pittsburgh off the scoresheet in hopes of giving the Rangers a chance to even up the series.
While the Penguins won by three goals in Game 3, two of those were empty-netters. It’s too difficult to trust a team to cover the spread in this series, so we’re going to run with the Rangers Moneyline, getting solid value at -118. Going down 3-1 would be a huge blow for the Rangers, and they’re going to play with some extra intensity in order to avoid having their back against the wall before returning to MSG.
Final Rangers-Penguins Pick: Rangers ML (-118)