- The Pittsburgh Penguins (10-6-1) visit the New York Rangers (7-6-2) Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden
- Penguins Captain Sidney Crosby has been ruled out with an undisclosed injury
- New York will start Alexander Georgiev but the stats show that isn’t good news for Pittsburgh
Sidney Crosby playing under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden is always great to see but we won’t get to when the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers face off Tuesday.
Penguins vs Rangers Odds
|Pittsburgh Penguins||-1.5 (+175)||-135||O 6.5 (-110)|
|New York Rangers||+1.5 (-210)||+115||U 6.5 (-110)|
Odds taken Nov 12th
Crosby did not travel with the team on their road trip and while he hasn’t been officially ruled out for Friday’s game in New Jersey, he will not play Tuesday night against the Rangers. He joins star defenseman Kris Letang and winger Patric Hornqvist in the press box, leaving Pittsburgh short-handed for this one.
Coach Sullivan on Sidney Crosby's status: "He went out in the 3rd period with a lower-body injury. He is being evaluated as we speak. We will get more information on Monday."
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) November 10, 2019
Even with Evgeni Malkin and other skilled forwards to shoulder the load the Rangers are the play in this one for two big reasons.
Jared McCann Not a Top Line Threat
Here is one of those cases where looking beyond the stat sheet is important. Jared McCann will be tasked with playing first line center in Crosby’s absence, alongside Jake Guentzel and Alex Galchenyuk. McCann’s numbers are more than respectable, five goals, five assists and a team-high +12 rating. So what’s not to like?
Coach Sullivan on @jaredmccann19: "When he's been given an opportunity to play a more significant role, he's responded in a positive way. We're going to need him to do that tomorrow." pic.twitter.com/Ip3GygESfB
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) November 12, 2019
The issue is he’s been racking up those points against weaker opposition. With Crosby in the lineup, McCann enjoys playing against the other teams’ second and third defense pairings. Against the Rangers, he’ll be squaring off with the top checking unit the Rangers have to offer. It’s cute putting up points as a secondary scorer, but asking McCann to contribute in Crosby’s slot in the lineup is too much to ask.
Rangers “Backup” Goalie is Bad News For Pittsburgh
Alexander Georgiev gets the call between the pipes for New York but that’s actually a tough break for Pittsburgh. Henrik Lundqvist is on the decline and is sporting a rather pedestrian 3.23 goals-against average this season. Georgiev may be listed as the second-stringer on the depth chart, but his 2.86 goals-against average shows he’s actually the goalie in better form right now.
Georgiev will get a third straight start tomorrow night. Quinn playing the hot hand, but said Lundqvist will be back in nets Wednesday. #NYR
— Greg Joyce (@GJoyce9) November 3, 2019
Georgiev also owns a respectable .913 save percentage so he is more than capable of shutting down the Penguins. The Rangers team defense is middle of the pack, tied for 16th with 51 goals against this season, but they enjoy a slight boost whenever Lundqvist watches from the bench.
Bet the Rangers on the Moneyline
I wouldn’t get cute here and bet with the puckline. I think the Rangers have the edge on home ice when you consider the Penguins are missing two of their three best players in Crosby and Letang but it’s not worth the risk of asking them to win by two goals. Trust Georgiev and company to win a tight one in front of the fans at MSG.
Pick: Rangers Moneyline
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