Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New York Rangers Picks, Predictions, Odds

The Pittsburgh Penguins and the New York Rangers hook up at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan on Thursday night for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, a best-of-seven series. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET, and the game can be viewed on TNT.

Sign up to get daily betting columns directly to your inbox!

Score Prediction

Rangers 3, Penguins 1

Best Bet

Rangers -149
Under 6 (-149)

BetMGM NHL Special Offer


So much to unpack here. Woo. Game 1 was a lot of fun, wasn't it? Well, it probably wasn't a lot of fun if you were a Rangers fan, a backer of the Rangers, somebody who bet the UNDER or somebody who had to go to work early on Wednesday.

If Game 2, and the remainder of the series, is anything like Game 1, we're in for a treat. The Penguins, with backup goaltender Casey DeSmith in the crease for the series opener due to a foot injury to Tristan Jarry, found themselves in double-overtime Tuesday, tied 3-3. There were six total goals on the board after 18:30 of two periods, but the spigot slammed shut and there would be no more offense for three full periods of hockey.

Midway through the second overtime, DeSmith suffered a lower-body injury of his own, giving way to Louis Domingue, who didn't even have time to stretch, and who had been sitting on the bench in a baseball hat for the better part of four hours since warm-ups. All he did was save all 17 shots he faced. Evgeni Malkin did something not many were able to do in Game 1, beat Igor Shesterkin. He made a ridiculous 79 saves, and that was still not good enough in a 4-3 overtime win by the Pens.

I have a feeling that Game 2 is going to be a low, low, low-scoring game, as players are still recovering and the legs should be a bit sluggish.

Get the VI Daily Newsletter! Get the VI Daily Newsletter!


More Odds Stanley Cup Odds

Updated on 04/20/2024
Bonus Code VIBONUS1600 Claim Now


  • Date: Thursday, May 3, 2022
  • Matchup: Metropolitan vs. Metropolitan
  • Venue: Madison Square Garden
  • Location: New York, N.Y.
  • TV-Time: TNT, 7:00 p.m. ET


Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 47-25-11
  • ATS: 41-42
  • O/U: 41-39-3

So the Penguins stole Game 1, defying the odds with their backup goaltender in net to start, then going down to their journeyman third-string goalie to finish up. Domingue was perfect in triple-overtime, helping the team to an unlikely win, with an emergency goalie, or EBUG, named Reid Robertson from Manhattanville College waiting in the wings to be the next David Ayres. Luckily for bettors, and for the Pens, that wasn't necessary.

DeSmith is considered day-to-day, and it's likely he will not be ready. The team recalled Alex D'Orio from its AHL affiliate to serve as backup to Domingue. Jarry isn't expected to be quite ready yet, either, although he continues to work off-ice, and perhaps we see him in Pittsburgh, but that's not a certainty, either.

The team had an optional practice Wednesday, and Jason Zucker was able to skate. He missed Game 1 due to an undisclosed injury. He might draw in for Rickard Rakell, who had his night ended early Tuesday due to a vicious head shot.

Despite the Game 1 win, the Pens are still just 2-5 in the past seven on the road, and they're likely down to their third-string tendy. That's not good for betting purposes.


Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 52-25-6
  • ATS: 42-41
  • O/U: 33-47-3

The Rangers are down, but certainly not out. It's one game. But, it was a tough pill to swallow, as Shesterkin stood on his head for several hours after some sloppy defense led to several opportunities against him in the first two periods. On one particular goal by Jake Guentzel early in the second period, two Rangers bit on a pass to Sidney Crosby, converging on the puck, leaving Guentzel on Shesterkin's doorstep without a blue sweater without several yards. He tapped home the goal against the unprotected goalie, who never had a chance.

The Rangers can't continue to leave their star goalie out to dry like that. Shesterkin has the qualities to steal games, and a series, on his own, but he does need the defense to help him out somewhat.

New York is 27-13 in the past 40 games at home, and they'll likely bounce back with a win here. However, it is rather concerning that the Blueshirts are just 3-8 in the past 11 playoff games as a favorite. They need to turn that around in a hurry.

Penguins journeyman goalie Louis Domingue was an unlikely hero in Game 1. (Getty Images)


I expect the first period or two to be a complete opposite of what we saw in Game 1. It might look like the players are skating in sand in the first 20 minutes, and therefore a first-period UNDER 1.5 (-120) bet is a good play. Be cautious, though, as Domingue is likely the goalie for the Pens, so the Rangers could still jump all over him.

The latter is the reason I like the Rangers, too. The Pens can't continue to do it with mirrors. Jarry is a top-flight goalie, but he's not here. DeSmith proved to be valuable, but he is unlikely to play. How deep can they go, and still be successful? I think the Rangers get to the journeyman Domingue, and Shesterkin shuts the door tight. He might even pitch a shutout in Game 2, squaring the series before heading back to the Steel City.


  • Penguins are 2-5 in the past seven road games.
  • Penguins are 2-6 in the past eight as an underdog.
  • Penguins are 2-5 in the past seven as a road 'dog.
  • Penguins are 1-4 in the past five Eastern QF games.
  • Rangers are 1-4 in the past five games overall.
  • Rangers are 27-13 in the past 40 home games.
  • Rangers are 3-8 in the past 11 playoff games as a fave.
  • UNDER is 12-5-1 in the past 18 road games for the Pens.
  • UNDER is 4-1 in the past five as a 'dog for the Pens.
  • UNDER is 16-7-1 in the past 24 as a home fave for the Rangers.
  • UNDER is 16-6-5 in the past 27 playoff games as a fave for NYR.
  • Favorite is 8-3 in the past 11 meetings.
  • Home team is 10-4 in the past 14 meetings.
  • OVER is 22-8-5 in the past 35 meetings.
  • OVER is 4-1 in the past five meetings at MSG.


Best NHL Betting Sites:

bet365 | BetMGM | Caesars Sportsbook | FanDuel | FOX Bet | PointsBet | SI Sportsbook | Unibet | Best US Sportsbooks

Where to bet on the NHL Playoffs:

Arizona | Colorado | Illinois | Indiana | Louisiana | Michigan | New Jersey | New York | Pennsylvania | Tennessee | Virginia | West Virginia