Rangers vs. Penguins Odds, Picks: How to Bet Game 3 of This Stanley Cup Playoff Series
Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Evgeni Malgin celebrates his goal on Thursday.
- The Penguins host the Rangers as short underdogs in Game 3.
- The Rangers have the better goalie, but the Penguins have controlled play through two games.
- Find out which side Carol Schram is backing and her analysis below.
Rangers vs. Penguins Odds
|Over/Under||6 (+100 / -120)|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins already have more than 165 minutes of playoff hockey under their belts. But thus far, fans are no closer to knowing which Metropolitan Division squad will advance to the second round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
After splitting a pair of games at Madison Square Garden, the two teams will face off for Game 3 of their first-round series on Saturday in Pittsburgh.
Here’s the latest on both clubs and your best bet for the game.
Shesterkin Carrying the Rangers
After losing a 4-3 triple-overtime heartbreaker to open the series, the Rangers rebounded nicely with a 5-2 win in Game 2 on Thursday, levelling the series at one game apiece.
After a stunning 79-save effort in Game 1, star netminder Igor Shesterkin did not show any noticeable signs of fatigue while stopping another 39 pucks on Thursday. A late-game collision with Jeff Carter when Shesterkin was out of his crease struck fear into the hearts of the Garden faithful, but the 26-year-old Vezina Trophy favorite finished the game and said afterward that he felt fine.
So, expect to see Shesterkin back in net for Game 3, with his .952 playoff save percentage, 2.17 Goals-Against Average and league-leading 5.9 Goals Saved Above Expected.
The Rangers have needed that kind of elite netminding. True to their identity, they’ve been outmatched in puck possession by the highly structured Penguins. New York has controlled just 44.27% of shot attempts at 5-on-5 through the first two games and a playoff-low 28.79% of High-Danger Scoring Chances.
New York has also held the edge on special teams — 2-for-5 on the Power Play for 40%, while holding Pittsburgh to 1-for-6. And the Rangers have dictated the highly physical tone of the series, outhitting the Penguins 115-72 so far.
That physicality has taken a toll on both rosters. For the Rangers, forward Barclay Goodrow and defenseman Ryan Lindgren both missed Game 2 with lower-body injuries. Lindgren is considered day-to-day while Goodrow is now listed as week-to-week.
Penguins Need to Step Up Around Domingue
Continuing with injury news, the Penguins lost their series starter midway through the second overtime of Game 1, when Casey DeSmith pulled himself and was replaced by Louis Domingue.
Domingue stood tall in relief, stopping all 17 shots he faced and giving the Penguins time to manufacture Evgeni Malkin’s game-winning goal at 5:58 of the sixth period. But two nights later, the third-stringer couldn’t manufacture the same magic. The Rangers peppered him with 40 shots in Game 2 and beat him five times on goals from five different scorers. He’s now carrying a rating of -1.2 Goals Saved Above Expected.
On Friday, the Penguins announced that DeSmith has undergone core muscle surgery and will be unavailable for the rest of the playoffs. Meanwhile, regular No. 1 Tristan Jarry still hasn’t resumed skating as he recovers from a broken foot. So it’ll be Domingue in net and Alex D’Orio backing up once again for Game 3 on Saturday.
The Penguins have also lost two key skaters already in this series. Rickard Rakell was knocked out of Game 1 by a hard, clean check from Ryan Lindgren, and defenseman Brian Dumoulin missed Game 2 with a lower-body injury. Both are currently listed as day-to-day, as is foward Jason Zucker, who was injured in Pittsburgh’s penultimate game of the regular season.
But all is not lost. By earning that Game 1 win, Pittsburgh has now effectively gained home-ice advantage in the series. And knowing that salary-cap constraints could make this the last season that three-time Stanley Cup Champions Malkin, Kris Letang and Sidney Crosby will chase a championship together in Pittsburgh, that group is leading the charge to earn the upset and advance.
The Penguins are not just controlling 71.21% of High-Danger Scoring Chances at five-on-five in this series; their 47 High-Danger Chances created through just two games are nearly twice as many as the next-best playoff team, the Colorado Avalanche (26).
Rangers vs. Penguins Pick
If you believe that a team can break through if it keeps playing the right way, there’s an opening for Pittsburgh to retake the series lead on Saturday.
The Penguins skaters are doing everything right to try to get the better of Shesterkin. The question now is whether or not they can make the star goalie not just bend, but break. Will the pressure get to him as the series goes deeper? Before this season, he had played just one NHL playoff game (in the 2020 bubble in Toronto).
At age 30, Game 2 was the first-ever NHL-level playoff start for Dominigue. His only other on-ice experience in the postseason was 18 minutes in relief for the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2018.
With two more days to process his current situation and the fans in PPG Paints Arena behind him, a good game from Domingue will give the Penguins a chance to steal Game 3 and ratchet up the pressure.
As home underdogs, Pittsburgh offers good value on Saturday.
Pick: Penguins Moneyline (+100); play down to -115
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