Rangers vs Penguins: A Battle for Second Place in the Metropolitan

This will be the first time these two teams Rangers vs Penguins have played each other this season. They are set to play three more games throughout the season after Friday.

The Rangers have clawed their way up to third place in the Metropolitan Division. In this division, they are separated by very few points, with first, second, and third, all inside five points.

The Penguins, who were a real question mark to start the year, finished the first half of the season very strong. They currently find themselves second in the division but only by a single point from third place and five points from fourth.

The New York Rangers are the early moneyline favorite for this Rangers vs Penguins game. While the odds are getting closer to looking more like a coin flip, which is what this game should be, it is clear sportsbooks think the Rangers should win.

The Rangers are 2-0-0-1 at the time of writing this, since returning from the All-Star break. All three games have been single goal and scrappy games, which makes sense when this roster is broken down.

Offensively, the Rangers are an average-at-best hockey team. The team averages 2.94 goals per game, which put them in 16th overall in all of the NHL. 

In their last five games, they are at 2.8 goals per game. In their last five away games, they are also at 2.8 goals scored per game.

The Rangers are also playing at almost full strength. While they still have two players on their injury report list, those two have been on there for quite some time and are not coming off anytime soon.

Artemi Panarin has been an electric addition to this team for the last three years. Not only is he their best hockey player, but he has taken the stardom in stride in New York. 

Panarin has accumulated a team-high 55 points, scoring 14 goals and assisting on 41 others. Chris Kreider is leading the team with 33 goals scored, with goals in five of the last ten games.

Igor Shesterkin is the Rangers’ number one goaltender. He has a record of 24-5-2 and is giving up 2.01 goals per game.

The Pittsburgh Penguins are 1-2 since returning from the All-Star break. In the single game they won, the Penguins had to come back from being down by two goals in the third period.

The Penguins were rough to start the season, and fans were not very happy. December and January, they have really flipped the script, going on a 10-game winning streak in December and an eight-game winning streak in January.

Offensively, the Penguins are averaging 3.29 goals per game, which puts them in the top 10 in the NHL. A team built around offensive skill players, the Penguins, should not have any issues scoring goals.

In their last five games, however, there is a slight decrease as they are only averaging 2.8 goals per game. In their last five home games, it bumps up to 3.2.

The Penguins are also looking good on the injury report. With just a couple of names that are not going to impact much, the Penguins are playing at full strength as well.

Jake Guentzel is leading the offense for the Penguins. He has recorded a team-high 52 points, scoring 25 goals and assisting on 27 others.

Kris Letang and Sidney Crosby are both tied for second place on the team with 47 points.

Tristan Jarry has been the main goaltender for the Penguins. He has a record of 25-10-2 and is giving up just 2.29 goals per game.

These two teams match up so well. Neither scores a crazy amount of goals, but both find ways to win hockey games. They both have solid goaltenders as well.

Pittsburgh being at home will win this Rangers vs Penguins game for them.

When making your NHL picks, take the Pittsburgh Penguins moneyline.

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