The New York
Rangers Can Win Because…
They’ve figured out the Penguins. For two straight games, they’ve done what they’ve needed to do offensively (eight goals scored) while shutting down the Penguins completely (two goals scored). They finally got their power play working in Game 5 and it didn’t even matter that it went 0-for-6 in Game 6 as they still scored three times. Defensively, Henrik Lundqvist had a pretty bad performance in Game 4 but since then, he’s been lights out. He’s stopped 67 of 69 shots. Meanwhile, his counterpart, Marc-Andre Fleury, has been shaky.
Everything has lined up for the Rangers. They just need to take advantage here.
Penguins Can Win Because…
Home-ice advantage in Game 7 is a big deal. It’s true, the Pens haven’t been great in the last two games but they’ve simply been outworked by the Rangers. A clear example of that is the Rangers shots on net: they averaged 24.8 shots per game in the first four contests but have averaged 32 over the last two games. Power play is another example as they averaged 3.8 opportunities in the first four games but have upped that to 4.5 in the last two.
Pittsburgh isn’t going to be handed this series. They need to win it. The good news is that when they’ve gone out and played with some effort, they’ve been the better team. They need to be disciplined, they need to score the first goal and they need Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin to shine. That’s all doable but it’s not going to be given to them.
Outlook & Pick
The Pens will probably take Game 7 but laying -165 is too much considering they haven’t looked good over the last two games. As a result, I’ll take the under with my NHL picks. That seems like the safer play as only two of the six games in this series have seen six or more goals.
NHL Pick: Under 5 at WagerWeb