The seventh and deciding game between these divisional rivals will occur on Sunday night and the oddsmakers are leaning heavily on the home team to advance to the next round. Let’s analyze this pivotal Game 7 showdown and keep cashing our NHL picks!
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New York Rangers
Sunday, May 15, 2022 – 7:00 PM EDT at Madison Square Garden
The Penguins took control of the series after Game 4 when they went ahead, 3-1, in what looked to be a fait accompli for a “gentleman’s sweep” over their Metropolitan Division rivals. But the Rangers had other ideas and skated to a 5-3 victory in Game 5 followed by an identical 5-3 win on Friday to knot the series at three apiece.
If we look back at the last two games, we see that not only was the score the same but the scoring patterns were mirror images of each other. The Penguins drew first blood by scoring the first two goals. But the Rangers would rally with three unanswered goals of their own before the Pens would tie the game late in the second period. New York would then score the final two goals of the game in the third period and here we are.
Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider had two goals each in Game 6 while Andrew Copp put the game on ice with his fourth of the postseason at 19:33 of the final stanza. New York goalie, Igor Shesterkin, turned aside 31 of 34 shots in the victory.
“Regardless of the situation, I'm proud of the way this team competes,” Kreider said. “Whether we're down, whether we're up, we're trying to get to our game, trying to play the same way.”
Shesterkin has been a standout for the Rangers all season long but two uncharacteristically subpar performances in Pittsburgh have not deterred the Vezina Trophy candidate from rising to the occasion as the series has progressed.
“He battles, it's what he does,” Kreider said of Shesterkin. “He's been our best player all year and he continues to be our best player.”
Pens Miss Crosby
Sid the Kid missed his first playoff game in five years with what has been described as an upper-body injury. Crosby leads the team in assists with seven in the series and has a pair of goals to boot.
In addition, Pittsburgh has been forced to start their third-string goalie, Louis Domingue, due to injuries to Tristan Jarry and Casey DeSmith. Domingue has been solid between the pipes for the Pens after replacing DeSmith in the second overtime session of Game 1 and has remained in net for Pittsburgh ever since.
And don’t expect DeSmith to skate into Sunday night’s contest as he was forced to have surgery to repair a core injury.
“Nobody said it was going to be easy,” Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang said. “They’re a really good team. They have a lot of skilled players that can score goals. It’s a race to four and we have to regroup, stay positive and get the job done.”
- Favorite is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings.
- Home team is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings.
- Penguins are 1-4 in the last 5 meetings in New York.
- Over is 6-0 in Rangers’ last 6 overall.
- Over is 5-0 in Rangers’ last 5 games as a favorite.
- Over is 6-0 in Rangers’ last 6 Conference Quarterfinals games.
- Over is 7-0 in the Penguins’ last 7 overall.
- Over is 5-0 in the Penguins’ last 5 games as an underdog.
- Over is 6-0 in the Penguins’ last 6 playoff games as an underdog.
- Over is 6-0 in Penguins’ last 6 Conference Quarterfinals games.
How to Bet on Penguins vs. Rangers Game 7?
This one should be a dandy and it will be a no-holds-barred event as the Rangers look to put a bow on this series after being on the brink of elimination over the last two games. However, the Penguins have a high-octane offense and they understand that blowing a pair of early two-goal leads in consecutive games is not the hallmark of a Stanley Cup caliber team.
The early NHL odds on this game show the Rangers as between -145 and -150 home favorites. And although these games have been close, save for Pittsburgh’s 7-2 Game 4 blowout of the Rangers, we have to understand that Pittsburgh is not the same team without Crosby, having been outscored by a six-goal margin in this series when he hasn’t been active.
The other huge advantage New York has is Igor Shesterkin. With all due respect to Louis Domingue who has done an admirable job under extreme circumstances, there is no competition in this regard. The Rangers also play very well at home as evidenced by their 27-10-4 regular-season record at MSG.
Let’s back the home chalk and go over the posted total in this one.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.