Game on at
The Rangers host the Penguins on Sunday at Madison Square Garden in New York with the opening faceoff slated for 7:05 PM ET. This will be Game 6 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series in which the Penguins hold a 3-2 lead. According to NHL betting odds The Rangers are a -115 money line home favorite and the posted total is 5.0. The road team has won 5 of the last 6-games between these clubs. The teams have seen just 3 of their last 16 meetings at Madison Square Garden stay under the total.
Alive and Well
The Rangers came up with a resilient effort in Game 5 by coming away with a 5-1 road win, and by doing so staved off elimination. They had excuses in regards to packing it in after losing both Games 3 and 4 at home to fall behind in the series 3-1. In addition, they had been the victims of a brutal playoff schedule, and were playing their 6th game in 9-days at one of the toughest arenas to win at in all of the NHL. However, the Rangers showed why they were one of the best road teams in the NHL this season by turning in a superb performance with their backs against the wall. Henrik Lundquist was terrific in goal stopping 31 of 32 Penguins shots on net. He was especially stellar in the opening period when he turned away all 17 Pittsburgh shots which led the way to the Rangers 2-0 lead at the intermission. Derick Brassard led the way for the Rangers with 2-goals and an assist. The Rangers will attempt to keep the momentum going at home where they’ve been inexplicably inconsistent this season. They’re 23-24 at Madison Square Garden this year, including just 3-3 so far in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
and Close the Deal
It would be a vast understatement to say that the Penguins let the Rangers off the proverbial hook on Friday. After all, they were at home, had just won 2-games on the road to put their opponent on the brink of elimination, and were facing a team that’s had to endure a brutal playoff schedule. It just wasn’t meant to be, as the Penguins received a major wakeup call by being blown out at home. The Penguins will surely attempt to regroup on Sunday, and want to avoid a deciding Game 7 in which anything can happen. The Penguins can certainly help themselves by improving on their power play which has gone a dismal 1 for 15 in this series. The Penguins have been one of the best teams in the NHL this season on the power play converting an outstanding 22.4% of their opportunities. Marc-Andre Fleury wasn’t horrible in Game 5, but it was his worst game of the series allowing 4-goals on 34 shots. Fleury was widely considered to be an enigma for the Penguins heading into the postseason, but he’s been solid in posting a .918 save percentage in 11 playoff starts.
Any home team versus an opponent playing with same season revenge stemming from a loss in which they allowed 4-goals or more, and that opponent is coming off a loss by 4-goals or more in their previous game against a division foe, has gone 73-26 (73.6%) versus the money line during the last 18 seasons. Bet Rangers over Penguins for NHL picks.