Penguins Can Win Because…
They’ve got momentum on their side. They’ve now won back-to-back games and aside from the first period in Game 1, have thoroughly outplayed the Rangers. Although there was plenty of heat on goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury coming into the series, he’s posted back-to-back shutouts on the Rangers.
The Rangers just don’t match up well with Pittsburgh. They outshot them 35-15 in Game 3 and still lost 2-0. Their power play has failed to score on 34 straight chances and they can’t tickle the twine in five-on-five play. The Pens have won 12 of the last 18 meetings and they own this matchup.
The New York Rangers Can Win Because…
They’ve dictated the pace of play in this series. Although the Rangers are down 2-1 in the series, they’ve managed to get the Penguins to play at their pace. That means, low and conservative games where one goal makes the difference. They’ve held the Pens to two goals or less in two of the three games. Usually, that’s good enough for the Rangers.
Game 3 was the Rangers fifth game in seven nights, so it’s easy to see why they were a little bit gassed. With a night off in between games, look for them to be a tad fresher in Game 4.
Outlook & Pick
I’m going to stick with the Penguins with my NHL picks. They just have the Rangers number. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin have now played solid in back-to-back games and Fleury is playing with a ton of confidence. With a cheap price tag on the Pens, I’ll take a shot with them again.
NHL Pick: Penguins -102 at WagerWeb