Third Meeting in Week for Division Foes
This is rather interesting scheduling with the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins meeting for the third time in a week.
The team scoring first won each of the last two meetings. When the teams met on Thursday, just two penalties were called as the Rangers had two power plays and Pittsburgh didn’t have any in New York’s 4-2 win.
When looking at the standings, Saturday’s game has more meaning to the Penguins as the Rangers look to be locked into the No. 3 spot in the Metropolitan Division. The Penguins currently hold down the top wild-card spot but are only three points ahead of Florida.
When looking at some of the NHL news, Pittsburgh defenseman Jeff Petry is questionable after suffering an upper-body injury after playing just 1:34 in the most recent matchup with the Rangers. Fellow defenseman Dmitry Kulikov is out as is center Nick Bonino.
For the Rangers, defenseman Ryan Lindgren is getting closer to a return after missing the last nine games but he is not expected to play.
According to the NHL playoff odds, the Rangers (+1100) are fifth in the odds to win the Stanley Cup title. The Penguins (+3300) are tied for 13th in the championship odds.
Four of Pittsburgh’s previous eight games have gone to overtime with the Penguins winning three of those games – and that includes a victory against the Rangers.
The Penguins had leads in the third period in each of those games so the ability to close out teams has been a little lacking.
There have been some defensive issues for the Penguins. Among teams currently in playoff position, only Colorado and Winnipeg allow more goals per game during the month of March than Pittsburgh.The Penguins lost to Montreal 6-4 on Tuesday despite outshooting the Canadiens 43-22.
The Las Vegas odds total has gone under in four of Pittsburgh’s last five games on the road as well as in 13 of the last 20 games against teams from the Metropolitan Division.
Starting to Heat Up
Since a loss to the NHL-leading Boston Bruins, the Rangers are 4-0-1 to open a 10-point lead on the Penguins and New York Islanders for the third spot in the Metropolitan Division.
The Rangers played three straight overtime games during the streak. While the Rangers made NHL news with the acquisition of veteran forwards Patrick Kane and Vladimir Tarasenko, it has been defense that has keyed the recent surge.
The Rangers are tied for fourth in goals-against average over the last five games. The streak coincided with the end of the suspension to defenseman K’Andre Miller. Miller, Jacob Trouba and Adam Fox are all averaging more than 22 minutes per game over the last five games with recent acquisition Nikko MIkola falling just under 20 minutes per game.
The last time out, Chris Kreider scored twice for his first multi-goal effort in 13 games. He has five goals in the first three games against Pittsburgh this season.
Four of New York’s last six games have gone under the NHL betting lines total.
KREIDING HIGH. #NoQuitInNY | @JagermeisterUSA pic.twitter.com/Wtkk7ynQRw
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) March 17, 2023
Penguins vs Rangers Game Injuries
Penguins vs Rangers Head-to-Head
The Rangers have won four of the last six games against Pittsburgh.
The teams have split the two games this season, each winning on home ice. That is nothing new with the home team winning eight of the previous nine games.
If not for Kreider’s empty-net goal with 50 seconds to play in the last meeting, each of the last four games between the Eastern Conference rivals would have been decided by one goal.
Each of the last three games in the series finished under the total after the previous seven all went over.
Penguins vs Rangers Game Information
- Game: Penguins (34-24-10) vs Rangers (39-19-10)
- Location: Madison Square Garden, New York City
- Day/Time: Saturday, March 18, 8:00 p.m. ET
- Penguins vs Rangers Live Stream: NHL.TV
Penguins vs Rangers Betting Lines
Penguins vs Rangers Picks and Prediction
The last time these teams played, the game was decided without needing overtime and that was a bit of an upset considering that the Penguins and Rangers are tied for second behind only the Philadelphia Flyers for the most overtime losses among Eastern Conference teams.
The Rangers are 8-1-3 in their last 12 one-goal games after beginning the season going 4-5-7 in those games. The Penguins are 13-5-10 in one-goal affairs.
The Rangers are 6-2 at home since the NHL All-Star Game with the Penguins 5-4 on the road during that stretch.
The Rangers are 29-17-4 when listed by the sportsbook as the favorite. Pittsburgh is 2-14-2 as the underdog. The issues winning as the underdog will make it hard for those making NHL picks to go with the visiting Penguins to win the game straight up. With all the games that have required overtime, this could easily be another game when Pittsburgh comes through when it comes to the puckline.
The Penguins are 19-15 against the NHL odds on the road with the Rangers covering in just 14 of the 34 games on home ice.
The Pittsburgh are listed at +130 in our Vegas NHL odds. This means that if you wager $100 on the Penguins, you have a chance to win $130. New York is -150, offering a chance to win $67 on a $100 wager. The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives the Penguins a 43.48% chance to win, with the Rangers at 60.00%.