The first-round matchup between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the New York Rangers heads back to Pittsburgh with the Penguins leading 3-2 as we look at the moneyline, over/under, and player props for this game.
Pittsburgh Penguins (+105) vs New York Rangers (-125)
The Penguins still hold the series advantage with the teams back in Pittsburgh, but they may be without captain Sidney Crosby and Brian Dumoulin. Crosby leads the team with seven assists and nine points and has been the main setup man for Jake Guentzel who has seven goals. That line, which has been dominant this series, will be much less effective and the line matchups will be in the Rangers’ favour.
Igor Shesterkin, New York Rangers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)
The Penguins have won both games at home but under different circumstances. Igor Shesterkin was shown confidence by the coaching staff and he bounced back and helped the Rangers stay alive in Game 5. Look for another strong performance while they are still on the brink of elimination. The Rangers know they can beat the Penguins in Pittsburgh because they did so during the regular season. They also know the advantage shifts to them in Game 7 at home if they can win tonight even with Crosby back in the lineup. Take the Rangers to force a Game 7 and the under (U6.5, -120) since the series’ leading scorer is likely out and 6.5 goals is high for Shesterkin in one of the nets.
Adam Fox – Assists (Over 0.5, -105) & Points (Over 0.5, -143)
Adam Fox has five points in this series and one in each game. He has actually scored more goals (three) than he has assists (two), but that is hard to keep up, especially in the playoffs. He gets pucks on net; however, they’ve just been getting through without any Rangers players getting sticks on them.
The easy bet is for Fox to get the points since he continues to step up in big games and be the most consistent player for the Rangers. The harder part is the point being an assist. I could even see him getting a goal and an assist if he were to get another goal, but the safer bet for a defenceman is to record an assist, especially one who plays on the power play and with the top players all the time.
Evgeni Malkin – Anytime Goal-Scorer (+165)
Evgeni Malkin is a very good player, but he turns into a whole new beast when Crosby is out of the lineup. He knows he has to step up and always does. With Crosby expected to miss Game 6, Malkin, who has just five points in the series, is going to have himself a big night.
Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)
He scored in Games 1 and 4 and has been quieter since all the attention and praise has been on the Penguins’ top line. His line should move up and be the top line for Game 6 and get more ice time in a potential series-clinching game. He will get on the scoresheet somehow, but it will be tough if Shesterkin is once again on his game.
Odds via Yahoo and BetMGM.
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