The Pittsburgh Penguins are one win away from a rather surprising first-round upset of the New York Rangers. Despite needing to turn to third-string goalie Louis Domingue for most of the series, Pittsburgh has been able to handle Igor Shesterkin and the New York Rangers. The Penguins are in complete control with a 3-1 series lead as New York looks to stave off elimination at home on Wednesday night.
Although Pittsburgh they entered the series as underdogs, the Penguins vs Rangers betting odds are now firmly in the Penguins’ favor. They’re huge favorites to win the series. But, with the Rangers at home and facing the prospect of their season ending, New York is a small favorite in Game 5. Considering how much better the Rangers have been at home all season, that line is a reasonable one.
Penguins vs Rangers Game 5 Information
- Game: Pittsburgh Penguins (3-1) at New York Rangers (1-3)
- Location: Madison Square Garden, New York City
- Day/Time: Wednesday, 7 p.m. ET
- Television: ESPN
Shesterkin Too Good to Struggle Again
Igor Shesterkin’s struggles in this series have been, to say the least, shocking. He was undoubtedly one of the NHL’s top netminders all season and was named a Vezina Trophy finalist this week. But, the Pittsburgh Penguins seem to have solved him. Shesterkin allowed 10 goals in Games 3 and 4, both of which he was pulled from early. So, he allowed 10 goals in what amounted to roughly 60 minutes of playing time, which is remarkably uncharacteristic.
If you want to bet on NHL games, don’t expect Shesterkin to get lit up again. He’s simply too good to get pulled in a third straight game. To be fair, it’s not like the Penguins are just going to let up in terms of their offensive attack, but Shesterkin will have to raise his game to where it was for most of the season. The Penguins vs Rangers betting odds for Game 5 reflect the likelihood of a bounce back by the netminder.
Letdown Spot for Pittsburgh?
There aren’t enough compliments that can be said about how the Pittsburgh Penguins have played in this series. From hanging on in the crazy three-overtime Game 1 to scoring seven goals apiece in Games 3 and 4 — all with their top two goalies out of commission — the Penguins have thoroughly outplayed the New York Rangers and are now in position to be the only team in the NHL to win its opening-round series in five games.
However, that’s not such an easy task because Pittsburgh is on the road and because Louis Domingue, for how well he has played in the series, still isn’t the same caliber of goalie as either Tristan Jarry or Casey DeSmith. Also, there’s a natural tendency for a team in the Penguins’ situation to ease up on the intensity with a commanding series lead. All of those factors hint at a dip in the Pittsburgh Penguins’ stats and performance, if only for this game alone.
Rangers to Force Game 6
It’s easy to be a prisoner of the moment and assume that the New York Rangers will just fade away after their poor showing in a Game 4 loss. But, New York competed for the Metropolitan Division title for a reason and the Rangers are better than they’ve demonstrated against Pittsburgh so far. They’ll show some fight in Game 5, especially at home.
The Penguins vs Rangers betting odds might not like New York’s chances to come back and win the series, but they do favor the Rangers on Wednesday because they’re due for a big game while the Penguins are due for some regression. Domingue has played a bit above his head and Wednesday’s game is the perfect night for the Rangers to actually get something going against him.Follow us on Twitter