The New York
Rangers Can Win Because…
It’s desperation time. This is it for the Rangers. Regardless of whether they are up against the wall, tired or injured, they either win Game 5 or their season is over. They have to find a way.
The good news is they took Game 1 in this series and that was in Pittsburgh. That was arguably their best effort of the series. They were the fourth-best road team in the NHL this season, going 25-14-2, so playing well on the road is not unfamiliar territory.
Penguins Can Win Because…
They just own the Rangers. Not only have they won three of four in this series, they’ve now won 14 of the last 20 meetings. The trick is that they’re able to succeed while playing the Rangers style of hockey while the Rangers can’t reciprocate. The Rangers have kept most of the games in this series low-scoring close games, yet the Pens are up 3-1.
The Rangers simply have no offense to compete. They have just two goals in the last three games and other than the first period of Game 1, haven’t won any period of hockey. Their power play is dormant (no goals in last 36 opportunities) and they just look like a team that’s run out of gas. Take the Pens with your NHL picks.
Outlook & Pick
Sometimes the reaction to a grueling schedule is delayed. The Rangers had lots of pep in their step in Game 3, which was their fifth game in seven nights, but then looked flat in Game 4 even though they had a day of rest prior to it. Regardless, it looks like time has expired on their season.
The Pens have played better as the series has gone on. Sidney Crosby. Evgeni Malkin. Marc-Andre Fleury. As for the Rangers, Henrik Lundqvist let them down in Game 4 while top-flight defenseman Ryan McDonagh looks a shadow of his former self.
Pittsburgh should win but with there being a ton of juice on them, I’ll avoid the side and take the under. I expect a bounce back game from Lundqvist and a low-scoring affair.
Hockey Pick: Under 5 at WagerWeb