Pittsburgh Penguins (43-27-12) at New York Rangers (53-22-7)
|Date & Time||Thursday April 16, 2015, 7:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: New York Rangers -190 / Pittsburgh Penguins +171 --- Over/Under: 5
The New York Rangers quest for the Stanley cup begins against the Pittsburgh Penguins Thursday.
The Pittsburgh Penguins squeezed in to the postseason despite poor play to end the year that saw them drop seven of ten with the scoring and defense struggling to get on the same page. With all the talent on this team resulting in just 2.6 goals (19th) this has definitely been a strange season for the Penguins who were in need of help from the defensive end of the ice more often then not. The Pens were 10th defensively with 2.5 goals given up on just over 29 shots. Sydney Crosby and Evegni Malkin scored 28 goals each with Patric Hornqvist netting 25 so there is firepower offensively. Marc-Andre Fleury went 34-25 overall and posted ten shutouts with a 2.32 GAA and .921 save %.
The New York Rangers are looking for a return to the Stanley Cup championship and emerge as winners this time around. The Rangers were the clear winners in the Metropolitan but never let up as they closed the regular season with wins in six of seven. The NYR have a reputation for being stingy at the defensive end but turned up the scoring this season with the third ranked offense pumping on three goals per game on 31.5 shots. Combined with the #3 defense that gave up just 2.3 goals that also ranked third and there is a reason this team is one of the favorites. Rick Nash leads the attack with an amazing 42 goals in 79 games while Henrik Lundqvist ( 2.25 GAA) and Cameron Talbot (2.21 GAA) posted five shutouts each and make the Rangers unpleasant at the defensive end.
The under is 6-0-1 in Penguins last 7 games following a win and 4-0-1 in Penguins last 5 after allowing 2 goals or less in their previous game while the Penguins are 0-6 in their last 6 vs. a team with a winning record. The Over is 3-0-1 in Rangers last 4 when their opponent scores 2 goals or less in their previous game and is 5-0-1 in Rangers last 6 vs. Metropolitan while going 5-0-1 in Rangers last 6 when their opponent allows 2 goals or less in their previous game. I have to say the odds are stacked against Pittsburgh but the odds are just too high for me to play against one of the most talent laden teams in the game although I’m probably sitting this out…