Penguins vs Rangers Odds: NHL Preview, Prediction

Penguins vs Rangers Odds: NHL Preview, Prediction article feature image

(Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images) Pictured: Artemi Panarin.

Penguins vs. Rangers Odds

Monday, April 1
7 p.m. ET
Penguins Odds+165
Rangers Odds-200
Over / Under
-115o / -105u
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute NHL odds here.

Here's everything you need to know about the Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New York Rangers on Monday, April 1 – our expert NHL prediction and pick.

On Monday, the Pittsburgh Penguins head to Madison Square Garden to take on the New York Rangers for the third and final time this season. When these teams met in Pittsburgh two weeks ago, New York emerged with a 7-4 victory. The Rangers also shut out the Penguins in their first meeting in November.

As the Blueshirts look to sweep the season series with their Metropolitan Division rival, let’s dig into the NHL odds and make a Penguins vs. Rangers prediction.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Holding a two-goal, third-period lead over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday, the Penguins looked like they were headed for their third straight win. Instead, their shootout loss marked their second multi-goal, third-period blown lead in a week.

In many ways, Pittsburgh’s past week — consisting of two wins and the aforementioned collapses — epitomizes the inconsistent season it has endured.

At this point, the Penguins are well outside the playoff race, which comes as no surprise given their decision to trade Jake Guentzel ahead of the trade deadline. Since the move, Pittsburgh is 4-5-3 as it effectively just tries to run out the clock on a disappointing year. 

With 10 points across the Penguins’ past four games, Sidney Crosby continues to do his part, but with the way the rest of Pittsburgh's core has begun to age, the rest of the roster now lacks impact players. 

As a team, the Penguins’ underlying numbers since the trade deadline indicate they’ve shifted toward a more wide-open style of play. Pittsburgh’s 2.89 xGF/60 at 5-on-5 over this stretch ranks sixth in the NHL, but its 2.78 xGA/60 at 5-on-5 ranks fifth worst. The Penguins haven’t gotten much help from their goaltenders either, as their all-situations team save percentage across that span is .884. 

Monday’s game marks the front end of a back-to-back for Pittsburgh, so Tristan Jarry will likely get the nod between the pipes. Whether it's Jarry or Alex Nedeljkovic, the Rangers should have no trouble generating offense. 

New York Rangers

The Rangers’ 8-5 win over the Coyotes on Saturday looked a lot like their recent 7-4 win over the Penguins. While coach Peter Laviolette would surely prefer his team play a cleaner game, New York continues to demonstrate it can win the track-meet-type games in addition to the tight-checking contests.

Regardless, the Rangers have won five straight and 10 of their past 12 games. They’ve hit their stride at the right time and have an opportunity to secure the Presidents’ Trophy and the Metropolitan Division title with a strong finish. Thanks to New York’s soft remaining schedule, both feats appear likely.

Although the Rangers’ underlying process continues to look shaky, it’s hard to argue with the results at this point. New York doesn’t need more offensive-zone time than its opponent when its goaltenders are playing at such a high level and its top line is scoring at an elite rate.

The line of Artemi Panarin, Vincent Trocheck and Alexis Lafrenière leads all NHL forward lines in 5-on-5 goals and 5-on-5 expected goals this season. Through 14 games this month, this red-hot trio has combined for 60 points. 

Defensively, the Rangers are nearly healthy again, with Jacob Trouba and Ryan Lindgren back in the lineup. Any miscues, though, have been nullified by Igor Shesterkin, who should be back in the crease Monday. Since the All-Star break, Shesterkin owns a 2.22 GAA and a .933 SV%.

Penguins vs. Rangers

Betting Pick & Prediction

The Penguins' loss Saturday felt like the final nail in the coffin on their season. Pittsburgh had an opportunity to make up some ground in the playoff race but couldn't even close out the lowly Blue Jackets. I wouldn't be shocked to see things unravel a bit down the stretch for the Penguins as they play out what are likely the final games of this era.

After the Rangers' sloppy performance in Arizona, I'm expecting a motivated, disciplined showing Monday. They still have plenty to play for as they look to maintain some separation from the surging Carolina Hurricanes in the standings.

Thus, I'm taking the Blueshirts to win this one in regulation. The puck line is a higher value play (+130 odds at Bet365), but I'll go with the safer pick in the 60-minute moneyline.

Pick: Rangers 60 Min Moneyline (-120 at DraftKings | Play to -125)

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