The first-round matchup between the New York Rangers and the Pittsburgh Penguins kicks off as we look at the moneyline, over/under, and player props for this game.
New York Rangers (-125) vs Pittsburgh Penguins (+105)
NYR: 52-24-6, 3.05 GF/GP, 2.49 GA/GP, L10: 6-4-0
PIT: 46-25-11, 3.28 GF/GP, 2.71 GA/GP, L10: 5-4-1
The Rangers and Penguins played each other four times this season, three of the games going in favour of the Rangers. All these also happened to come near the end of March or later as they completely shut down the Penguins in their season series. Pittsburgh scored a total of four goals in those four games largely due to Igor Shesterkin and his Vezina-calibre season.
The Penguins do have some underrated weapons in Jake Guentzel, while Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are scoring at a very high rate. What doesn’t bode well for the Penguins is the goaltending matchup. Tristan Jarry is still out with an injury and Casey DeSmith has the net. Even if DeSmith is on his game, it’s no match for Shesterkin and the season he’s put together. This should be a low-scoring game as all the previous matchups have generally been. So take the Rangers and the under (U5.5, -120).
Artemi Panarin – Assists (Over 0.5, -120)
Artemi Panarin is returning to the lineup after resting the last couple of games for the Rangers to end the regular season. He has been the team’s most prolific scorer this season with 96 points, with 74 of those coming from assists. He ranked fourth in the league only behind three Hart Trophy contenders and put together a great season.
His ability to always find himself involved in the offence makes this a good bet as he has teammates who love putting the puck in the net. Panarin had at least an assist in 47 of his 76 games this season and many times had multi-assist games. The Rangers need him in Game 1 and he will step up.
Jake Guentzel – Points (Over 0.5, -161)
Guentzel ended the regular season with 40 goals and 84 points in 76 games. It marked the third consecutive season where he finished with over a point per game. He is a known playoff performer despite scoring at a much lower pace in his last few postseason appearances.
During the back-to-back Stanley Cup runs, Guentzel had 23 goals and 42 points in 37 games. He has really turned it on over the past eight games to help the Penguins hold third spot in their division by scoring seven goals and 13 points with three three-plus point outings. Tonight, he will continue his hot stretch and return to playoff form.
Odds via Yahoo and BetMGM.
The Hockey Writers & THWBets promotes responsible gaming, and provides this content as opinion and analysis with no guarantees or assurances.
For more information about responsible gambling, including help for problem gambling behaviour, please visit these great resource pages:
If you’re in Canada, Rogers Sports & Media has put together a great information and resources page.
If you’re in the United States, MGMResorts has a great page for gambling problem resources.