A storied rivalry continues in the first round of the 2022 NHL Playoffs, with a Penguins vs Rangers series that promises to be great hockey. The Rangers have played long-time second fiddle to the Penguins in the east. Now, led by the soon-to-be Vezina Trophy winner in net, the Rangers have the opportunity to send the aging Penguins packing for the first time since 2016. Pittsburgh fans and players alike know the years are quickly running out on this Hall-of-Fame Penguins core who has had so much success but has not been a real playoff threat since winning back-to-back Stanley Cups in 2016-17.
Let’s take a look at the betting odds and season history for the series, and give our Penguins vs Rangers NHL Playoffs prediction.
Penguins vs Rangers NHL Playoff Series Preview and Stream
NHL Playoffs Round 1
Pittsburgh Penguins vs New York Rangers
Venue: PPG Paints Arena – Pittsburgh, PA / Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
Coverage: ESPN / TNT
NYR: Igor Shesterkin (36-13-4/2.07/.935)
Penguins vs Rangers Record | Regular Season History
In the regular season, Penguins vs Rangers happened the standard four times, with the Rangers winning the last three in a row. What is very interesting though is the recency of all four games. The first time these two teams got together was on February 26th, which is incredibly deep into the season to see an opponent for the first time, let alone an opponent you will play three more times and then end up in a playoff series against.
What makes this so intriguing is that it gives us a much clearer read and indication as to what could happen in the series than if they had played a game in October or December. Once March rolls around, teams are typically becoming who they will be in the playoffs. It is their truest version of themselves. The Rangers have now seen this iteration of the Penguins three times in the last five weeks and have come out victorious on each occasion, outscoring Pittsburgh 11-4 along the way.
Penguins vs Rangers NHL Playoff Series Betting Odds
Moneyline: PIT: (+105) | NYR: (-125)
Series Total Games: 5.5 — Over: (-190) | Under: (+145) / 6.5 — Over: (+170) | Under: (-250)
Series Spread: PIT: +1.5 (-250) | NYR: -1.5 (+170) / PIT: -1.5 (+160) | NYR: +1.5 (-230)
Public Betting via Action Network: PIT: (30%) | NYR: (70%)
Odds to Win Stanley Cup: PIT: (+2000) | NYR: (+1600)
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Penguins vs Rangers NHL Playoff Series Keys to Victory
Pittsburgh Penguins: The Penguins will have to turn back the clock and conjure up some of the classic Pittsburgh NHL Playoffs magic we grew so accustomed to seeing for a decade straight. Sidney Crosby is still one of the most effective players in the league when the Penguins get him involved. Goals will come at a premium against Shesterkin, so Pittsburgh has to be very good defensively. Limiting shots on goal early in the series will allow backup goaltender Casey DeSmith time to ease into the series, building his confidence and the team’s trust.
New York Rangers: The Rangers are incredibly solid on the defensive side of the puck, which they will be able to lean on but not fully count on against the Penguins. New York will not overly impress you with their goal scoring, and they produce shots on goal at a bottom of the league rate. Where they can create an edge for themselves is on special teams. Any time someone goes to the box in this series could result in a major momentum swing as the Rangers’ powerplay against the Penguins’ penalty kill is essentially the irresistible force meeting the immovable object. Success on special teams and a relentless attack on DeSmith could be enough to win this series as long as Igor brings his “A” game between the pipes.
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Penguins vs Rangers NHL Playoff Series Prediction
This Penguins vs Rangers NHL Playoffs series is going to be bipolar. We will likely see a couple of games with a just goal or two scored, and a couple of games in double-digits. Both teams are good defensively but are also liable to find themselves in a barn burner at any given time. Ultimately, goaltending may decide this series. Tristan Jarry missing at least two games to start the series is an incredible advantage for the Rangers. We see them taking care of business on home ice and shifting all the pressure to Pittsburgh in what would be a must-win game three. The Rangers have been the better team all year, yet somehow are only -125 to win the series. Take those favorable odds and run.
Our NHL betting Penguins vs Rangers playoff prediction will be Rangers Series Moneyline at BetUS.
Penguins vs Rangers Prediction and NHL Playoffs Picks
New York Rangers – Series ML (-125)
*continue to check back on FlurrySports.org as more picks and updated odds will be available upon release*