Our resident NHL handicapping professional has gone an outstanding 8-2-1 so far in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs. He’ll be covering Game 4 of the series between the Rangers and Penguins on Wednesday, and this betting preview article concludes with a money line selection.
Metropolitan Division Rivals reconvene for Game 4 on Wednesday
The Pittsburgh Penguins will attempt to knot up their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series at 2-2 when they host the New York Rangers on Wednesday at 7:05 PM ET. According to the NHL betting odds at Pinnacle, The Rangers are a -115 money line road favorite, and the posted total is 5.0.
Rangers regain Home Ice Advantage
The New York Rangers were able to recapture home ice advantage with a 2-1 road win in Game 3 on Monday. They’ve also put themselves in a position to seize a stranglehold on the series by winning on Wednesday. The Rangers have been an excellent road team all season, and that’s evidenced by a 29-13 money line record in that role. They’ve won two of their three games at Pittsburgh this season, and the only loss in that sequence came by virtue of an overtime shootout. After a less than stellar performance in the Rangers Game 2 loss, Henrik Lundquist was rock solid in Monday’s 2-1 win, stopping 23 of 24 Pittsburgh shots on goal.
Huge Game 4 for Pittsburgh
The Penguins will need to play with dire desperation on Wednesday in order to have a realistic chance of winning this series. There’s a huge difference in going back to Madison Square Garden for Game 5 tied at 2-2, or down 3-1. One of the most encouraging signs during the first three games of the series has been the stellar play of goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury. The maligned Penguins goalie has developed a reputation in his career of being a very good performer during the regular season, and then transforming into the antithesis of that during the playoffs. Although the sample size is awfully small, his 2015 playoff performance line indicates a 2.33 GAA, and a .922 save percentage. His teammates have continued to inexplicably struggle offensively despite the plethora of talent on the roster. Pittsburgh has scored two goals or less in fourteen of their previous twenty-one games, and they’ve scored four or more on just two occasions during that span.
NHL Money Line System
Go against any road team (Rangers) that’s -100 to -150 on the money line, playing in the month of April, and has won eight or more of their previous ten games. The home team (Penguins) in that exact scenario has gone 30-11 (73.2%) since the beginning of the 1996-1997 NHL campaign.