It was the Metropolitan Division that delivered the President’s Trophy winner last season, with the New York Rangers taking the prize for the best regular season record in the NHL. It looks as though that very same division is once again going to be the one were the winner comes from, as the Washington Capitals are proving to be the class team in the league. The three teams that sit behind the Rangers in the Metropolitan are all in playoff berths right now, and it’s the Penguins who are holding on to the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. They have come on strong in the past few weeks, and they will be looking to hunt down the teams sitting above them. That includes taking a run at their division rival New York Rangers on Thursday night. Divisional games are always a little special, and this one looks like being a great Pro Hockey lines match-up.
How To Bet the NY Rangers Vs Pittsburgh NHL Odds, TV and Game Info
When: Thursday, March 3 at 7 PM EST
Where: CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
TV: MSG and ROOT
NHL Odds: TBA
Why bet on the New York Rangers
The Rangers (37-20-6) are not going to be able to retain the President’s Trophy this season, but they look like an absolute lock for a playoff spot. They have been consistently good all season long, and are on a run that has seen them go 7-2-1 in their last 10 games. They are playing .500 hockey on the road, but have been improving on that record over the last few road trips, going 5-1 in their last 6 games away from home. Included in that mix was a 3-0 win over the Penguins on the road. The Rangers have a very solid record playing division opponents this season, and have gone 12-6-4 against their biggest rivals. They are looking to cement that number two spot in the division, but will need to hold off a surging Penguins team in order to do so. The Rangers are averaging 2.8 GPG, and are giving up 2.5 GPG.
Why bet on the Pittsburgh Penguins
It wasn’t so very long ago that the Penguins (32-22-8) looked like a team in total disarray. Despite having one of the most potent offenses in the league, they struggled to find the net on a consistent basis. There were rumors of off-ice issues, and it all ended with a coaching change that seems to have done the job. The Penguins are now back in a playoff spot, and very much appear to be a team on the rise. The goals are coming again, and that alone makes them a very dangerous proposition. Pittsburgh are a game above .500 versus Metropolitan Division opponents, but their real strength lies in their performance on home ice, where they are 19-9-4. The Penguins are averaging 2.7 GPG, and are giving up 2.5 GPG.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
These division games tend to be tight affairs that are hard to handicap. You have to give the edge to the Penguins on home ice in this one, but it’s going to be close. I have it 4-2 Penguins, with that 4th goal being of the empty net variety.
New York Rangers 2 Pittsburgh Penguins 4