New York Rangers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Prediction, NHL Odds

Payton Matthews | Updated Jan 22, 2021

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Casey DeSmith started the season as a backup, but after putting up better numbers than Tristan Jarry, DeSmith is seeing more ice time than anticipated.

NY Rangers
6-8-2-1
AT
January 22, 2021, 7:00 PM ET
PPG PAINTS Arena
Pittsburgh
10-7-1
Puckline +1.5 -195
Moneyline +120
Over / Under o +6.5

35%

Betting Action

65%

Puckline -1.5 +162
Moneyline -145
Over / Under u +6.5

35%

Betting Action

65%

The New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins play the front end of a two-game weekend series in Pittsburgh on Friday night, their first meeting of the year. The Pens are favoured on the NHL odds with an opening total of 6.5 goals.

The teams play again Sunday, and then back-to-back games at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 30 & Feb. 1. Friday is New York’s first road game of the early season.

Rangers vs. Penguins Betting Analysis

Thankfully, the NHL didn’t split these rivals up when they switched around divisions, this season. The teams only managed to play just one game in the shortened 2019-20 campaign (three were set for after the shutdown) and the Rangers won 3-2 at home in overtime behind two goals from Kaapo Kakko, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 draft. He had the winner at 2:24 of OT.

Alexandar Georgiev finished with 30 saves in the win, although he blew a 2-0 lead after one period. Justin Schultz and Jared McCann scored for the Penguins, who were without superstar Sidney Crosby. Matt Murray (now in Ottawa) took the loss.

Crosby loves facing the Rangers, as in 67 regular-season games against them he has 33 goals with 56 assists and a plus/minus rating of plus-17. Dating to his Blackhawks days, Rangers star Artemi Panarin has nine goals and seven assists with a plus-6 rating in 13 games against Pittsburgh.

New York Rangers

New York has allowed four goals in each of its two losses and none in its lone victory. The Blueshirts were beaten 4-3 at home by New Jersey on Tuesday – allowing three Devils goals in the second period. It’s not often that a team loses when outshooting its opponent by 22, but that was the case as New York had 50 shots on goal to New Jersey’s 28. The Rangers also had two power-play goals. Georgiev was pulled after two periods and allowing four goals on 20 shots. Igor Shesterkin stopped all eight shots he faced, and he will start on Friday. Monitor the status of Rangers centre Mika Zibanejad, as he suffered an undisclosed injury in the third period of the New Jersey game. He has one goal and one assist this season, after finishing first on the team with 41 goals last year. The Rangers think Zibanejad will be available to play on Friday. New York is 6-16 in their past 22 Friday games.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Pittsburgh lost its first two games of the season by multiple goals each in Philadelphia, but then they won both of their home games against Washington in extra time. The Pens were 5-4 overtime winners Tuesday, after rallying from a 4-2 deficit, midway through the second period. Crosby had the game-winning goal at 1:11 of OT and added two assists, to be the game’s No. 1 star. Crosby leads the team with five points, while Evgeni Malkin added his first goal and point of the season. Casey DeSmith got the start in net; in theory, DeSmith was supposed to be the No. 2 to Tristan Jarry, but he has been much better than Jarry thus far, with a 2-0-0 record and 2.76 GAA, while Jarry is 0-2-2 with a 7.57 GAA. It’s not clear yet, who will start on Friday. Pittsburgh is 7-3 in its past 10 Friday games.

NHL Prediction: Who Will Win Rangers vs. Penguins?

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