Penguins & Rangers to Slide Under the ‘Total’

New York Rangers

Dana Lane

Friday, March 31, 2017 7:21 PM GMT

Friday, Mar. 31, 2017 7:21 PM GMT

The ‘over’ is 7-1-3 in this series over their last 11 meetings but our resident NHL expert Dana Lane explains why the smart money is to go against that trend tonight.

 

Pittsburgh Penguins vs N.Y. Rangers

Neither team has played well as of late, so what do you do when things aren’t going well, you go back to basics and that means defense. 

It’s time to go hardcore shopping again because as we look at the opening numbers in this game we see the landscape filled with 5.5’s.  That is until we found two 6’s, which we are jumping on at -110.

I encourage always looking for the best number but with Pittsburgh, I always try to find a six considering under normal circumstances they could reach five goals on their own.

Always monitor all line movements here.

 We do know this, when the Pittsburgh Penguins are healthy again they will have every piece in place to make a deep Stanley Cup playoff run. When that’s going to happen is anybody’s guess. They can’t even figure out what’s wrong with Kris Letang and he’s been out over a month.  Letang is skating again but there isn’t a time table for his return.

For now, with a depleted defensive core and injuries up the middle the Penguins are not a reflection of what they could be. You might say, how I am recommending  the ‘under’ if they are depleted defensively.  The answer is simple, even with all their injuries the Penguins own plenty of talent to carry the puck enough to ease the pressure off of their defensemen. 

They still are the number one team in the league in shots on goal (524), over the last month, and shots per game, this season (34.0). I have little doubt that Pittsburgh will apply plenty of pressure on Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist (30-18-3) but it’s the quality of those chances that allow me to feel confident in the ‘under’.   Teams are having success keeping the Penguins to the perimeter because the caliber of player on the ice has diminished. Shots on net have become nothing more than the start of transition for opponents instead of all-star players winning puck battles in front of the net.

 I anticipate both Lundqvist and Penguins netminder Matt Murray (28-10-4) to come up with playoff type performances as this one squeaks under the ‘total’.  

Free NHL Picks: Under 6Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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