The New York
Rangers Can Win Because…
The Penguins had some serious goaltending issues in Round 1. The Pens have now had issues between the pipes for three straight postseasons and that’s likely to continue as they progress – if they progress – in the 2014 NHL playoffs. Marc-Andre Fleury coughed up 18 goals in six games in Round 1 to the Columbus Blue Jackets, who are not known as an offensive juggernaut. If the Rangers can average three goals per game in this series, they’ll win.
Given their big advantage in net, take them to cash as a road dog in Game 1.
The Pittsburgh Penguins Can Win Because…
They own the Rangers. They’ve won 10 of the last 13 meetings between the teams, which means they’ll be very comfortable in this series. They manage to drag the Rangers into high-scoring affairs and New York simply can’t keep up. While Henrik Lundqvist is supposed to be the Rangers ace in the hole, he’s just 25-26 lifetime against the Penguins.
The Rangers overextended themselves in a seven-game series while the Pens are rested. Look for Pittsburgh to take charge in Game 1 in your NHL picks.
Outlook & Pick
With Game 6 and 7 of the Rangers first round series coming on back-to-back nights, that means that Friday’s contest is actually their third in four nights. That’s challenging in the regular season but in the playoffs, it will likely be too much for the Rangers to overcome.
Look for the rested Penguins to roll in Game 1 and for the result to be a high-scoring affair.
NHL Pick: Penguins and 'over' at WagerWeb