The New York Rangers (53-26-7), who trail 3-1 in their first-round series with the Pittsburgh Penguins (49-26-11), will be hoping that history repeats itself in 2022. In 2015, the Rangers overturned a 3-1 deficit against the Penguins in the second round of the playoffs. They’ll try to start a similar comeback Wednesday night at home in Game 5.
Penguins vs Rangers Odds & Analysis
Facing elimination, the Rangers opened as the -135 favorite and have since had a minor bump in value as they were sitting at -122 on Wednesday morning. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh is showing great value and is available at +117.
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Back-To-Back Seven-Goal Games For Pens
Pittsburgh chased Igor Shesterkin in both games at PPG Paints Arena, thrashing the Rangers 7-4 on Saturday and following up with a 7-2 shellacking on Monday. Evan Rodrigues and Jeff Carter led the way in Game 3 with two goals apiece, while Sidney Crosby had three points and seven different Pens lit the lamp in Game 4.
The offensive explosion has helped take some of the pressure off goaltender Louis Domingue, the career backup and Pens third stringer who’s been pressed into duty due to injuries to Tristan Jarry and Casey DeSmith.
Jarry is finally back on the ice and facing shots in practice, but Domingue will be back between the pipes Wednesday night. The 30-year-old stopped 22 of 24 shots in Game 4 as he made his third consecutive start.
Rangers Sticking With Shesterkin
After Igor Shesterkin was pulled in back-to-back games, the goaltender will look to bounce back in front of the home crowd as the Rangers face elimination. New York coach Gerard Gallant said that the burden doesn’t fall on Shesterkin and that the entire team’s effort is lacking.
However, the pressure is clearly on the shoulders of the 26-year-old, who is favored to win the Vezina Trophy after a sparkling regular season in which he won 36 games while posting a 2.07 goals-against average and .935 save percentage. Those numbers stand at 4.26 and .905 after four playoff games.
While the Rangers need their star goalie to bounce back, they also desperately need more from Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider up front. They have failed to match Pittsburgh’s stars and must improve on their combined zero goals in their last two games.
Penguins vs Rangers Pick & Insights
Penguins: Keys To Victory
Pittsburgh is receiving scoring from the entire lineup. The Penguins’ ability to close out this series will rely on Louis Domingue’s ability to remain consistent. The second his consistency dips, the Penguins could be in real trouble. Sidney Crosby has a playoff-best faceoff win percentage of 55.7, setting Pittsburgh up for success in the offensive zone.
Rangers: Keys To Victory
Shesterkin seems to play better at home and a bounce-back performance would be the first step toward avoiding elimination on Wednesday. A desperate New York group should result in an improved team performance but the Rangers need more success on the power play, where they’ve been outclassed by the Penguins.
Odds Shark’s Computer Penguins vs Rangers Prediction: Penguins ML (+115)
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Odds Shark Staff Mon, Jun 27, 1:28pm