In 2019-20 the New York Rangers exceeded expectations by arriving ahead of schedule. A rebuild scheduled for several years became a near-instant success. This season, the Broadway Blueshirts were touted as a team to watch but are falling back under the spotlight. An offense that became an NHL betting asset has fallen short while defense and goaltending remain the same problems they were in 2019-20. It follows that the Rangers don't surprise anyone after doing so a year ago. Pittsburgh always faces high expectations. Early on, they've had to outscore opponents because the blue line and goaltending have been late to the show.
Pittsburgh Penguins at New York Rangers
When: Monday, February 1, 2021, 7 p.m. ET
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
NHL Betting Odds at BookMaker.eu
Penguins at Rangers Bookmaker Wagering Analysis
The Penguins indeed are one of the most popular teams on the NHL board. That popularity affects their sportsbook odds value, but they will offer a more reasonable price as the road team. New York is an NHL name-brand too. However, the slow start will chase gamblers away. The Rangers haven't been a serious contender for several years. Gamblers no longer see New York as a power brand.
Penguins Win but Lack Reliable Goaltending
The Penguins have a Betting on NHL record of 4-2-1 with 5-1 over the total. Pittsburgh ranks 10th for goal scoring but 31st for goals allowed. NHL metrics have the Pens 9th on the power play but 22nd for penalty killing.
Center Sidney Crosby leads Pittsburgh with three goals and four assists but a -2. Center Evgeni Malkin is struggling with one goal and two assists with a -3. Defenseman Kris Letang is under par, too, with one goal, two assists, and a -1.
The big worry is Pittsburgh goaltending. Tristan Jarry has a troublesome .868 save percentage and 3.91 goals against average. Jarry is in his first season as the number one goaltender. Thus far, he hasn't handled the pressure well.
Rangers Sliding Back Amidst Increased Expectations
New York has stumbled out of the gate with an NHL betting record of 1-4-1 with 4-2 over the total. Accordingly, the Rangers rank 21st for the power play and 23rd for penalty killing.
So too is New York struggling between the pipes. Igor Shesterkin has a .886 save percentage with a .298 goals against average. Backup Alexander Georgiev is at .896 with a 2.66 goals against average.
The Rangers' potent goal scoring from last year is missing in action. They rank 23rd in the NHL for goal scoring. Leading the score sheet is left wing Artemi Panarin, with two goals and four assists.
Pittsburgh Penguins at New York Rangers Against the Spread
Pittsburgh has dropped seven of their last nine hockey betting matchups on the road. Only four of their last 11 away games cleared the total. The Rangers have lost six of their last ten games at Madison Square Garden. And then seven of New York's last 11 home games stayed under the total.
In this head-to-head series, the Penguins have won 13 of their last 19 against the Rangers. Only three of the previous 19 games in this series went over the total. At Madison Square Garden, Pittsburgh has paid in seven of their last ten visits. Six of the previous eight between these teams at New York went over the total.
Pittsburgh Penguins at New York Rangers Bookmaker Free Pick
As was previously noted, the Penguins have had the advantage over New York in this NHL gambling series. Pittsburgh is in better current form than the Rangers. New York has confounded gamblers with their dried up goal scoring.
Penguins at Rangers Bookmaker Best Bet: Pittsburgh Penguins
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