NHL betting odds: Pittsburgh Penguins at New York Rangers
The Pittsburgh Penguins were supposed to be the best team in the Eastern Conference and they look like it so far with a conference best 22 points. The New York Rangers also were supposed to be one of the East’s best teams but they have struggled to a 6-8-0 start. A win Wednesday night could get New York going, but it’s a -105 WagerWeb betting underdog.
Pittsburgh enters off a 3-0 win at Columbus on Saturday. Deryk Engelland, Chris Kunitz and Jussi Jokinen scored and Jeff Zatkoff made 19 saves in his first NHL win for the Pens’ fourth victory in a row. Zatkoff is backing up Marc-Andre Fleury while Tomas Vokoun recovers from preseason surgery. Sidney Crosby, leading the NHL in points with 22 coming in, assisted on Jokinen’s empty-netter to give him at least a point in 13 of the Penguins’ 15 games. They are 11-2 when he scores, 0-2 when he doesn’t.
And while Evgeni Malkin continues to produce this season (he has 13 points in 15 games), he hasn’t been able to fill the net as he normally does. Malkin hasn’t scored a goal since Oct. 17 at Philadelphia – a span of eight games. Malkin, 27, has come close on many occasions. He fired a season-high eight shots on goal Oct. 21 vs. Colorado. On Nov. 1 against Columbus, he shot a puck that went off the crossbar and post and came out.
The NHL named Marc-Andre Fleury its second star of the week on Monday. He posted a 3-0-0 record with a 1.67 goals-against average and a .940 save percentage for the Penguins last week. Fleury leads the league with 10 wins in 12 starts this season.
Pittsburgh’s Chris Kunitz missed his second straight practice Tuesday and was listed as “probable” for Wednesday night’s game in New York against the Rangers. If Kunitz cannot play the Penguins have enough bodies to fill his spot.
The Rangers lost 2-1 at home to Anaheim on Monday. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 23 shots for the Rangers, who had a three-game winning streak snapped and dropped to 2-1 on a homestand that ends Wednesday against Pittsburgh. New York’s Ryan Callahan returned from a seven-game absence caused by a broken left thumb. He had an assist.
This is the first meeting of the season between the Rangers and Penguins. Fleury, who figures to get the start Wednesday, has won six of seven starts against New York with a 1.69 GAA and two shutouts during Pittsburgh’s current 8-1-0 run in the series. The Rangers have scored more than two goals just twice in that span.
WagerWeb trends: Penguins are 8-1 in the last 9 meetings. Over is 6-1-1 in the last 8 meetings in New York. Penguins are 4-1 in the last 5 meetings in New York. Under is 7-1-1 in Rangers last 9 overall.
NHL odds: Anaheim Ducks at New York Rangers
It’s the only visit of the season for Anaheim to Madison Square Garden on Monday unless the teams face off in the Stanley Cup Finals as the Ducks face the Rangers, with New York a slight WagerWeb favorite to cool off one of the Western Conference’s best teams.
The Ducks enter off a 6-3 win at Buffalo on Saturday. Ryan Getzlaf scored the first of five straight Anaheim goals and then added two assists to lead the Ducks to a comeback win. Emerson Etem and Corey Perry both scored two goals for the Ducks (11-3-1), who also got a goal from defenseman Sami Vatanen. With the game tied 1-1 late in the second period, Anaheim scored two goals in 34 seconds. Thirteen players recorded points for Anaheim, which won its first game in Buffalo since 2009.
It wasn’t all good for the Ducks, whose power-play struggles continued. Anaheim has just one goal in its last 26 power plays after an 0-for-3 performance that included an abbreviated 5-on-3 advantage late in the first period.
The Rangers can get to .500 with a win here as they beat Carolina 5-1 on Saturday to improve to 6-7-0. Derek Stepan scored his first three goals of the season, and Carl Hagelin added his first two as the Rangers’ had their best offensive output of the season. Derek Stepan scored his first three goals of the season, and Carl Hagelin added his first two as the Rangers’ had their best offensive output of the season Saturday night in a 5-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes.
Henrik Lundqvist made 27 saves and grabbed first star honors for New York, which is on a season-high, three-game winning streak. Hagelin scored the Rangers’ first two goals of the game, and Stepan netted the final three. New York, which went 1-for-4 on the advantage, has scored power-play goals in three straight games. The Rangers are 4-for-11 on the power play in that stretch. Rangers LW Rick Nash missed his 10th straight game with a head injury. There is no timetable for his return.
Anaheim crushed visiting New York 6-0 on Oct. 10. Jakob Silfverberg had a pair of goals, and Jonas Hiller made 34 saves for his 17th NHL shutout in Anaheim’s rout in the Ducks’ home opener this season. Dustin Penner and Daniel Winnik each added a goal and an assist. The goals were the most scored by Anaheim and its largest margin of victory, both in a home opener. The Ducks outshot the Rangers 37-34 for their third win in a row in the teams’ first meeting in nearly two years.
WagerWeb trends: Ducks are 5-0 in their last 5 when their opponent scores 5 goals or more in their previous game. Ducks are 6-0 in their last 6 vs. a team with a losing record. Ducks are 4-1 in their last 5 road games. Rangers are 1-4 in their last 5 vs. Western Conference. Rangers are 1-6 in their last 7 when their opponent scores 5 goals or more in their previous game. Home team is 6-0 in the last 6 meetings. Under is 5-1-1 in the last 7 meetings in New York.
NHL odds: New York Rangers at Washington Capitals
Two of the NHL’s most disappointing teams meet for the first time this season on Wednesday night as the Rangers, off their first win, visit Washington, which opened as a solid WagerWeb favorite.
Because of a scheduling oddity, New York opens the season with nine straight road games. Its lone win was Oct. 7 at Los Angeles. Since then, the Blueshirts have been torched, losing 9-2 at San Jose, 6-0 at Anaheim and 5-3 on Saturday at St. Louis. Ryan Callahan scored twice for the Rangers (1-4), and Brad Richards added his team-leading fourth goal for New York. St. Louis scored four times on its first 17 shots against backup goalie Martin Biron, who was making his first start of the season. Biron was pulled after the second period in favor of regular netminder Henrik Lundqvist. Biron stopped 13 of 17 shots. Lundqvist allowed one goal on 17 shots.
The team shook thing up on Monday. Backup goaltender Martin Biron and rugged winger Arron Asham were put on waivers/ Biron, who was notified of the decision by coach Alain Vigneault after practicing Monday, did not rule out retirement when asked about his options if he is not claimed. Although Biron’s numbers are also a reflection of the team’s overall struggles, his goals-against average (7.61) and save percentage (.763) are unsightly.
The most likely candidate to replace Biron is Cam Talbot, who competed for the backup job with Biron in training camp. The 26-year-old netminder, who showed significant improvement last season, is 2-0-1 in three starts in the AHL this season with a 2.54 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage.
With Asham on the way down and neither Rick Nash (concussion) nor Carl Hagelin (shoulder) available, Vigneault indicated the team is in need of more skill. It could mean either J.T. Miller or Chris Kreider could be on his way up in advance of Wednesday’s game against the Capitals. Hagelin, who was placed on long-term injured reserve to start the season, must miss five more games before he is eligible to return. Nash’s return does not appear imminent. Vigneault said Nash, who missed the past two games after sustaining a blow to the head Tuesday, was still experiencing symptoms from Brad Stuart’s suspension-worthy hit.
The Capitals beat Edmonton 4-2 on Monday night for their second win. Joel Ward, Alex Ovechkin and Troy Brouwer scored 3:55 apart in the second period – including two power-play goals — and Washington was on its way to snapping its three-game skid. Ovechkin scored his sixth goal and added an assist in the outburst. Nicklas Backstrom assisted on all three goals for Washington (2-4). Heading into Monday’s game against the Oilers, Washington had owned a lead for only 37:01 of the 305 minutes of hockey it had played on the young season. When Ovechkin scored at 13:18 of the second, it marked the first time this season that Washington owned a lead of more than a single goal. Ovechkin’s nine points (six goals, three assists) are tied with Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby for the most in the NHL.
WagerWeb trends: Home team is 6-1 in the last 7 meetings. Rangers are 4-1 in the last 5 meetings. Under is 21-6-3 in the last 30 meetings in Washington. Under is 13-4-9 in the last 26 meetings. Rangers are 2-5 in the last 7 meetings in Washington.
NHL odds: New York Rangers at Los Angeles Kings
It’s the lone visit of the season for the Rangers to Los Angeles as they meet the Kings in a potential Stanley Cup Finals preview. The Kings opened as -150 favorites on WagerWeb.
New York didn’t look good in its opener, losing 4-1 at Phoenix in Coach Alain Vigneault’s debut. Marc Staal had the lone New York goal. Captain Ryan Callahan was out for the opener, and forward Carl Hagelin will be out at least the first 10 games, both with shoulder injuries. New York also starts with a daunting road trip, playing nine games in 23 days away from home because of renovations to Madison Square Garden.
The 28-year-old winger Callahan, who has been rehabbing in earnest while recovering from offseason surgery on his left shoulder, is expected to be in the lineup for the team’s second game of the season. Callahan was cleared for contact last week and has been skating with the Rangers regularly during training camp. Callahan finished with 16 goals and 31 points in 45 games for the Rangers last season. Vigneault said he intends to start Callahan on the third line, in “not as much of an offensive role” as a top-six slot, to let the captain play his way into game shape.
The Rangers made a surprising roster move Saturday, assigning forward J.T. Miller to the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack after just one regular-season game. Miller, 20, apparently was the forward Vigneault intended to scratch on Monday in favor of Callahan’s return, and the organization felt he would benefit more from playing in the minors than being scratched. Still, the announcement was unexpected given Miller’s excellent preseason, including a stellar performance in the finale against the Kings in Las Vegas.
The Kings enter off a 5-3 loss at Winnipeg on Friday. Matt Greene, Jeff Carter and Justin Williams scored for the Kings, who outshot the Jets 18-7 in the first, with goalie Ondrej Pavelec keeping Winnipeg in the game. Coach Darryl Sutter said the Kings weren’t tired after two games in two nights. They beat the Minnesota Wild in a shootout Thursday.
Because of the lockout, the Rangers and Kings didn’t play last season. They opened the 2011-12 season against one another. L.A. won 3-2 in overtime in Stockholm. Anze Kopitar scored on Henrik Lundqvist in the first period and assisted on the winning overtime goal.
WagerWeb trends: Rangers are 1-5 in their last 6 overall. Rangers are 0-4 in their last 4 road games. Under is 3-0-2 in the last 5 meetings in Los Angeles. Home team is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings.
Could Rangers turn to Mark Messier at head coach?
The New York Rangers surprised many by firing mostly successful head coach John Tortorella this week after the Blueshirts were routed in the Eastern Conference semifinals by the Boston Bruins. New York had been the preseason East favorite.
So now the coaching search begins, and it’s certainly one of the best jobs in the league. Yes, there’s intense pressure but ownership will spend big to land talent. One interesting name has popped up as a possibility: Hall of Famer Mark Messier, who famously led the Rangers to the Stanley Cup in 1994, the team’s last championship.
Messier is the current Special Assistant to the President, a job that sounds like he’s being groomed to be a future general manager. However, he has no NHL coaching experience. But the Colorado Avalanche just hired one of their former greats, Patrick Roy, to be their head coach and he had no NHL coaching experience, either.
Three other candidates have been mentioned prominently: Alain Vigneault, Lindy Ruff and Marc Crawford.
Ruff might be the most obvious choice and has been available since being fired in February after 16 seasons coaching the Buffalo Sabres. A former Rangers defenseman, who had another former Ranger, James Patrick, as an assistant, Ruff is known as a players’ coach.
Vigneault was just fired by Vancouver after going 313-170-57 with two Presidents’ Trophies and one trip to the Stanley Cup finals in seven years. But he had a lot more skill in Vancouver than he’d have in New York. Vigneault was said to be on the Rangers’ radar, though not officially interviewed, when Bryan Trottier was hired in 2002.
Crawford was hired by Joe Nieuwendyk to replace Tippett in Dallas in 2009 and lasted two seasons. Won a Stanley Cup coaching Colorado in 1996.
Paul Maurice, a former coach of the Carolina Hurricanes and Toronto Maple Leafs who led the Canes to the 2002 Finals, is also available after reportedly turning down a contract extension with the KHL’s Metallurg Magnitogorsk. Coyotes coach Dave Tippett whom Rangers GM Glen Sather has interviewed for previous vacancies, is a possible candidate if he does not re-sign with Phoenix when his contract expires this summer. Sather said Wednesday he would like to conclude the coaching search by the time the NHL draft arrives on June 30.
NHL playoff odds: Boston Bruins at New York Rangers, Game 4
The Boston Bruins blew a 3-0 playoff series lead three years ago to the Philadelphia Flyers, so maybe the New York Rangers have a sliver of hope as they are down 3-0 heading into Game 4 on Thursday night. New York opened as a slight -113 favorite on WagerWeb.com. Check our current lines.
The Bruins took Game 4 2-1. Daniel Paille scored the tiebreaking goal with 3:31 left in the third period — after defenseman Johnny Boychuk got the Bruins even earlier in the frame — and Boston put the Rangers on the brink of elimination. The Bruins trailed 1-0 heading into the third, but Boychuk tied it with his fourth of the playoffs after he netted just one in 44 regular-season games. The Rangers hadn’t lost in regulation when leading after two periods since Feb. 4, 2010.
After scoring just one goal in 44 regular-season games, Boychuk is finding the twine in the playoffs with his rocket shot. After scoring the game-winner in Game 2, Boychuk tied the game at one 3:10 into the third period and now has two goals in as many games and four in the playoffs.
Only three NHL teams have rallied from an 0-3 hole to advance, with those 2010 Flyers as one. Boston also nearly blew a 3-1 series edge in the opening round this year against Toronto, before rallying from a three-goal deficit in the third period and capturing Game 7 in overtime.
Struggling Rangers center Brad Richards, recently relegated to the fourth line with his poor play, saw a paltry 8:10 of ice time, only 5:58 of which was at even strength. Richards was limited to a mere three shifts in the second period and two in the third. The 32-year-old veteran, who inked a nine-year, $60 million deal in July of 2011, has been held to one point this postseason.
The Rangers’ ineptitude on the power play continued with another futile effort Tuesday. After failing on both man-up opportunities in Game 3, the Rangers are now 2-for-38 — a dreadful 5.3 percent — in the playoffs and 0-for-10 this series. By contrast, the Bruins have had only one power play over the past two games.
The Rangers are 0-10 all-time in playoff series when trailing 3-0, and no team has ever overcome 2-0 deficits in two consecutive best-of-seven-series in the same playoff year. New York was down 2-0 in the first round against Washington.
WagerWeb.com trends: Bruins are 4-1 in their last 5 after allowing 2 goals or less in their previous game. Bruins are 4-1 in their last 5 when their opponent scores 2 goals or less in their previous game. Bruins are 4-1 in their last 5 games following a win. Rangers are 9-1 in their last 10 home games. Rangers are 4-1 in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a winning road record. Over is 3-1-1 in the last 5 meetings. Bruins are 5-2 in the last 7 meetings. Bruins are 4-12 in the last 16 meetings in New York.
NHL playoff odds: Boston Bruins at New York Rangers, Game 3
It’s nothing short of a must-win game Tuesday night for the New York Rangers as they are down 2-0 with the Eastern Conference semifinals shifting to Madison Square Garden. New York did open as a -135 favorite on WagerWeb.com. Check our current lines.
Boston took Game 2 5-2 on Sunday. Brad Marchand and Milan Lucic scored in the final period after Johnny Boychuk broke a tie in the second and Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist gave up more than four goals for the first time in 152 games. The Rangers played their best period of the series in the second, but Marchand gave Boston a 4-2 lead just 26 seconds into the third. Boston never trailed as rookie Torey Krug scored the first goal before Rangers captain Ryan Callahan tied it. Gregory Campbell made it 2-1, and New York pulled even again on Rick Nash’s goal, his first of the playoffs after he led the Rangers with 21 in the regular season. The Rangers failed to cash in on all five man-up opportunities Sunday. The Rangers are now 0-for-8 on the power play this series and 2-for-36 this playoffs.
New York also lost the first two games of its first-round series in Washington, won the next two in New York before losing Game 5 on the road.
“I’m expecting a desperate team,” said Bruins forward Shawn Thornton. “They’re going to step up their game and we’re going to have to be a lot better, too. Going into their building, they’re traditionally a pretty strong team in that rink and it’s not an easy rink to play in, so we’re going to have to be better.”
The Bruins are 21-7 lifetime when leading a best-of-seven series 2-0, and they’re also 18-10 in Game 3s when leading by two games. The Rangers are 2-19 lifetime when trailing 0-2 in a best-of-seven series.
Injured Bruins defensemen Dennis Seidenberg and Wade Redden participated in the team’s practice Monday morning at TD Garden and both made the trip to New York. Bruins coach Claude Julien said Seidenberg (lower body) and Redden (undisclosed) are getting closer to returning, but the coach won’t know until game day whether one or both will be available for the Game 3 tilt at Madison Square Garden. The status of injured defenseman Andrew Ference (foot) doesn’t look nearly as promising. He hasn’t played since May 10 and was seen last week in a walking boot.
Lundqvist hurt his shoulder with 4:52 remaining in the third period of Game 2 after making a save on Boston Bruins winger Daniel Paille but will start.
WagerWeb.com trends: Rangers are 1-4 in their last 5 after allowing 5 goals or more in their previous game. Rangers are 1-5 in their last 6 when their opponent scores 5 goals or more in their previous game. Over is 3-0-1 in the last 4 meetings. Home team is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings. Over is 3-1-1 in the last 5 meetings in New York. Bruins are 3-12 in the last 15 meetings in New York.
NHL playoff odds: New York Rangers at Boston Bruins, Game 1
After a miracle rally in Game 7 against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Boston Bruins have to put it behind them quickly as they open their Eastern Conference semifinals series against the New York Rangers on Thursday night, with Boston an opening -135 favorite on WagerWeb.com. Check our current lines.
Boston truly did the unthinkable on Monday, rallying from a three-goal deficit nearly midway through the third period and beat Toronto 5-4 in overtime. The Bruins still trailed by two with less than 90 seconds left in their season, but scored twice in a span of 31 seconds to tie it and then eliminated the Maple Leafs on Patrice Bergeron’s goal at 6:05 of overtime. Tuukka Rask stopped 24 shots for Boston, which led the best-of-seven series 3-1 before the Maple Leafs won two in a row to force a seventh game. Rask did just enough to get the Bruins into the second round. He appeared in all seven games for Boston, going 4-3 with a 2.49 goals-against average and .923 save percentage.
The Bruins are the first team in NHL history to win a Game 7 after trailing by three goals in the third period. Bergeron is the first player to score the tying goal with less than a minute in regulation and the game-winning goal either in regulation or overtime in Game 7 of a playoff series. The Bruins are the only team this season to score two goals in a game with an extra attacker on the ice in place of a pulled goalie. They did so in the regular season (coincidentally against the Rangers) and in this Game 7.
The Rangers also won a Game 7 on Monday but it was easy, 5-0 at Washington. Henrik Lundqvist had 35 saves in his second straight shutout. The last NHL goalie with shutouts in Games 6 and 7 of a series was Detroit’s Dominik Hasek in 2002 against Colorado. Lundqvist has enjoyed success against the Bruins in his career, posting a 21-7-2 record along with a 1.67 goals-against average and a .943 save percentage. This season, he was 2-1-0 with a 2.93 GAA and a .913 save percentage against the Bruins.
These Original Six teams haven’t faced each other in the Stanley Cup playoffs since 1973. During that 40-year span, the Red Sox and Yankees, Patriots and Giants, and Celtics and Knicks have produced plenty of classic games. New York won two of the three regular-season meetings, but both teams came away from four points because Boston had the only regulation victory. They haven’t seen each other since Feb. 12.
WagerWeb.com trends: Rangers are 1-4 in their last 5 when their opponent scores 5 goals or more in their previous game. Rangers are 1-5 in their last 6 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600. Bruins are 2-6 in their last 8 vs. Atlantic. Bruins are 1-5 in their last 6 games following a win. Under is 8-1-1 in the last 10 meetings in Boston. Rangers are 5-1 in the last 6 meetings in Boston. Rangers are 7-2 in the last 9 meetings. Under is 14-5-2 in the last 21 meetings.