- The Penguins vs Rangers odds favor New York as -125 moneyline favorites in Game 1 on Tuesday (7:00 pm ET)
- New York won three of the four regular season matchups outscoring Pittsburgh 11-4
- Read below for the Penguins vs Rangers odds, analysis and betting prediction
For the first time in five years there will be playoff hockey at Madison Square Garden. Game 1 between the Penguins and Rangers will take place at the historic building on Tuesday (May 3), in an Eastern Conference series full of intriguing storylines.
Penguins vs Rangers Odds
|Game Time||Team||Puck Line||Total||Moneyline|
|Tuesday, May 3rd||Pittsburgh Penguins||+1.5 (-250)||O 5.5 (-105)||+110|
|7pm ET||New York Rangers||-1.5 (+200)||U 5.5 (-115)||-125|
Odds as of May 2nd at Barstool Sportsbook.
New York is currently a -125 moneyline favorite, in a contest that features a total of 5.5. Puck drop is set for just after 7:00 pm ET, with ESPN providing the broadcast coverage.
As far as the series market goes, New York is currently a slight -115 favorite to move on, while Pittsburgh’s price to advance to the next round is -105.
Battle Between the Pipes
One of the most compelling stories to monitor early on in the series is the goaltending battle, which at the moment drastically favors the hometown team.
Igor Shesterkin, the overwhelming favorite in the Vezina odds, will man the net for the Rangers after an incredible regular season. The 26-year-old led the NHL in goals-against average (2.07) and save percentage (.935), while amassing 36 wins and six shutouts.
Igor Shesterkin's .935 save percentage in 2021-22 was the third highest in NHL history among goaltenders with a minimum of 50 appearances.
Tim Thomas (2010-11) – .938
Dominik Hasek (1998-99) – .937
Igor Shesterkin (2021-22) – .935 pic.twitter.com/R8nXVa3CJJ
— NYR Stats & Info (@NYRStatsInfo) April 30, 2022
The third year star boasts a ridiculous .681 career winning percentage, and absolutely owned Sidney Crosby and company this season. Shesterkin posted a sparkling 1.01 GAA and .960 SV% versus the Pens, and is 5-3-1 against them all-time.
As for Pittsburgh, they’ll be forced to start the series with backup Casey DeSmith. That’s because the Penguins All-Star netminder Tristan Jarry is dealing with a lower body injury and will miss at least the first two games in New York.
— Deb Seymour (@DebSeymour51) May 1, 2022
DeSmith was a respectable 11-6-5 during the regular season, with a 2.79 GAA and .914 SV%, but he’s a clear downgrade from Pittsburgh’s number one and has zero career playoff games on his resume.
Penguins vs Rangers Betting Analysis
The Rangers enter this series in much better recent form than Pittsburgh after finishing the season on a 12-5-1 run. That stretch included three victories over the Penguins, in which they outscored Pittsburgh 11-3.
New York features a talented offensive group that can burn you in many ways, led by the trio of Artemi Panarin, Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad. Panarin led the team with 96 points, while Kreider scored 52 times and Zibanejad produced 81 points.
RELEASE US pic.twitter.com/vYM4nizFt8
— x – New York Rangers (@NYRangers) April 26, 2022
The trio was a major reason why the Rangers boasted the fourth best powerplay in hockey, but they were equally as strong in their own end. Adam Fox, a top-four contender in the Norris Trophy odds after winning it last year, anchors a blueline that along with Shesterkin yielded the second fewest goals against. They also ranked seventh on the penalty kill making New York one of only two teams in hockey to rank top-seven in both special teams categories.
The Penguins meanwhile, limp into the postseason having won just seven of their final 18 games. Pittsburgh is loaded with playoff experience but has suffered three straight first round exits.
Crosby and Jake Guentzel led the team with 84 points apiece this season, while Kris Letang, Evgeni Malkin and four others still remain from the Penguins 2015 championship team. Both Letang and Malkin are unrestricted free agents after this season, meaning this could be the last playoff ride for Pittsburgh’s old guard.
Guentzel on Round 1: "We're confident we can make some noise." pic.twitter.com/jMfGSNpri0
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) May 2, 2022
The Penguins are a strong offensive team 5-on-5, ranking sixth in even strength goals, but they surprisingly struggle with the man advantage. Pittsburgh boasts the 19th ranked powerplay, but made up for it by ranking third on the penalty kill.
In addition to Jarry, the team will also be without forward Jason Zucker on Tuesday due to a lower body injury.
Penguins vs Rangers Head-to-Head Results
|Date||Away Team||Home Team||Score|
Penguins vs Rangers Pick
Playoff hockey quite often boils down to goaltending and it’s impossible to understate how big of an advantage the Rangers have in that category. Shesterkin is hands down the best goalie in hockey, while DeSmith ranks just above replacement level.
Shesterkin’s dominance and New York’s stingy D was on full display in their head-to-head meetings against the Penguins this season, and we should expect more of the same in Game 1. The Rangers won three of the four meetings between the two clubs this season, outscoring the Penguins 11-4 in the process.
Pick: New York Rangers Moneyline (-125), Under 5.5 (-115)