Rangers vs Penguins Picks and Predictions for March 7

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Updated: March 7, 2021

The Pittsburgh Penguins have won three of their previous four meetings with the New York Rangers this season, and try to make it four of five when they host the Rangers Sunday night.

Photo By – USA TODAY Sports

Sunday’s NHL betting options include an East Division matchup between two teams starting to find their way, the New York Rangers and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Both clubs are playing on the tail end of back-to-backs, with both coming off a win, but oddsmakers have the home Penguins currently as -150 favorites against a Rangers club that is still dealing with a number of significant injuries.

Can the Pens hold court at home? Check out our thoughts in our free NHL picks and predictions for Rangers vs. Penguins, with puck drop scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET. 

New York Rangers at Pittsburgh Penguins betting preview

Injuries

Rangers: Igor Shesterkin G (Out), Artemi Panarin LW (Out), Jacob Trouba D (Questionable).
Penguins: Jason Zucker LW (Out), Colton Sceviour C (Out).
Find our latest NHL injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Rangers are 1-4 in the last five meetings in Pittsburgh. Find more NHL betting trends for Rangers vs. Penguins.

The line opened at Pittsburgh -145/New York +125, with the total at 6.5. Early action favored the Penguins, moving them to -150, with heavy Under money shifting the number to 6.0. Check back later for a full report from Patrick!

Check out the full line movement for this game

Moneyline pick

After a middling start to the season, the Rangers are finally above .500, thanks to consecutive road wins against New Jersey. Despite still being without leading scorer Artemi Panarin, and Mika Zibanejad continuing to struggle to regain his superstar form of last year, the Blueshirts scored six goals in each contest. Veteran Chris Kreider picked up the scoring slack, plus Alexis Lafreniere appears to have finally found his footing as the reigning first-overall pick has six points in his last seven games.

New York has now won three straight games…but a deeper look reveals some concerning trends. First, those wins were against the Devils and the Sabres—the bottom-feeders of the division, which have a combined -36 goal differential and are riding five and six-game losing streaks, respectively.

Second, despite facing the weakest possible competition, the Rangers were outplayed from an advanced analytics standpoint. New York did not post a Corsi For percentage above 37.2 percent in any of those wins (meaning its opponent had the vast majority of shot generation in all three games), while Fenwick For percentage – which measures puck possession – was also heavily skewed towards the Rangers’ opponents as they did not post a FF% better than 37.9 in those games, and they won just 40.3 percent of their faceoffs across all three contests.

Pittsburgh, on the other hand, is coming off a three-game home set against its in-state rival Flyers, winning two of the three games including a 4-3 victory yesterday. While the Penguins have alternated wins and losses in their last seven games, they have won four of their last five home games and are 9-2 on the season at PPG Paints Arena.

The Pens haven’t posted the greatest possession metrics recently either but their numbers are still better than New York’s, and it’s come against better competition. The Pens have won three of the previous four matchups so far this season and Pittsburgh is back to fully healthy on the blue line, while the Rangers are missing a key forward, defenseman and their No. 1 goalie. With this being the tail-end of a back-to-back, we’d prefer to lean with the healthier squad that’s playing slightly better hockey lately.  

PREDICTION: Pittsburgh ML (-150)

Covers NHL betting analysis

Over/Under pick

The Rangers just dropped back-to-back six-goal performances against the Devils, a team that gives up the sixth-most goals per game and has the seventh-worst save percentage in the league. Well, the Penguins have the fourth-worst SV% in the NHL and are just ahead of New Jersey in giving up 3.22 goals per game.

While Pittsburgh’s No. 1 – and yesterday’s starter – Tristan Jarry has struggled this season, backup Casey DeSmith hasn’t been much better, posting a 2.73 goals-against average and .893 SV% on the season and tonight will mark just his second appearance in the last 24 days.

On the New York side, with Igor Shesterkin sidelined with a lower-body injury, Alexandar Georgiev is the main man between the pipes. He’s posted solid numbers this season (2.79 GAA and .906 SV%) but is coming off a shaky performance in yesterday’s win, where he let in two very-stoppable goals, and gave up a season-worst five goals in his only appearance against Pittsburgh this year. The Rangers other option, if they choose not to run Georgiev again, is journeyman Keith Kinkaid, who last appeared in an NHL game in November 2019 and posted a 4.24 GAA and .875 SV% in six games with Montreal last season.

The Over has cashed in five of Pittsburgh’s last six games overall, four of New York’s last six, and it’s hit in 10 of the last 12 head-to-head meetings in Pittsburgh. With backup (or third-string) goalies expected to play and both teams likely having tired legs come the third period, we’re going to go against the early betting action and take this game to go Over.

PREDICTION: Over 6 (-120)

Rangers vs Penguins betting card

  • Pittsburgh ML (-150)
  • Over 6 (-120)

NHL parlays

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