Penguins to Flex Offensive Muscles Against Host Rangers

Dana Lane

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 12:58 PM UTC

Wednesday, Mar. 14, 2018 12:58 PM UTC

The "over" is 11-2-3 the past 16 times Pittsburgh and New York have played. With the visiting Penguins clicking, expect more of the same tonight at Madison Square Garden.

Wednesday NHL: Penguins vs. RangersFree NHL Pick: Over 5.5 -125Best Line Offered: Pinnacle

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The Pittsburgh Penguins (40-26-4, 84 points, +18 goal differential) continue to be my favorites to win another Stanley Cup, and they’ll continue on that path tonight at 8 ET when they slide into Madison Square Garden to play the New York Rangers (31-32-7, 69, -23) on NBCSN.

We crushed another winner Tuesday and we’re going to do it again, but we must jump on this number now. Pittsburgh is up to -200 at Bovada after opening as a -185 favorite, but that’s not our focus. After opening at 6, the "total" is now at 6.5 at Heritage. I expect this to be the trend so jump on this number before we are forced to jump over the extra half. Make sure to shop wisely as there are some shops that are getting "under" money.

The last time these clubs met, the Penguins made easy work of the Rangers. Pittsburgh threw 47 shots on net, outshooting New York 34-15 over the last two periods. Phil Kessel had a goal and an assist along with a +2 in more than 19 minutes of ice time; not bad for a third-line winger.

Starting Goaltenders: Pittsburgh, Tristan Jarry (13-6-2, .910, 2.76 GA), probable; New York, Alexandar Georgiev (2-2-0, .930, 2.73 GA), confirmed.

Top 10 Power Rankings: Pittsburgh No. 1; New York NR.

Key Statistics: Pittsburgh 3.24 goals per game (5th); New York 35 shots allowed per game (30th).

All-Time Series Records: Pittsburgh 148-140-23 overall; New York 75-71-9 at home.

2010s: Pittsburgh 34-26 overall and 16-14 at Madison Square Garden.

The good news for the Penguins is that goaltender Matt Murray appears close to getting back on the ice after suffering a concussion that left him out of action for two weeks. Since Murray’s injury the Penguins still have won four of seven and likely five of eight after their game against the Rangers.

Bryan Rust might also join the team on their road swing after having to overcome his own concussion. The rich seem to be getting richer and you can see the path the Penguins are on.

This is without question one of the most dangerous teams on the offensive end. Their quick transition game always creates a pace that is good for "over" bettors. If a Penguins game doesn’t go over the total on the NHL odds board, it’s usually because the goaltenders made 65 saves combined.

With Jimmy Vesey starting to heat up (three goals in his past five games), that gives that Rangers three reliable lines. I’m not sure how much longer it will take for Alain Vigneault to put Ryan Spooner on the top line, but when he does the Rangers will have some weapons in their top three. For now it’s enough to give Jarry a workout.

As for your NHL picks, this game is going "over" with ease.

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