Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#17 Pittsburgh Penguins vs.
#18 N.Y. Rangers
Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 7:05pm EDT
Madison Square Garden, New York
Written by Nick Raffoul

This article covers a past game!

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The Pittsburgh Penguins will travel to Madison Square Garden on Thursday night for a MassMutual East Division battle versus the New York Rangers.

The Penguins are clinging to third place in the division standings with 50 points and 24-13-2 overall record in 39 games. Meanwhile, New York is trying to close the gap in the division race and will have another chance to do so on Thursday. After compiling points in four straight contests, the Rangers are 18-15-5 with 41 points in 38 games this season, good for fifth place in the MassMutual East standings.

Jarry looking for bounce-back after rough start vs. Rangers

Pittsburgh looked sloppy in Tuesday’s 8-4 loss versus the Rangers. Jared McCann scored on the power play while Mike Matheson, Jake Guentzel, and Brian Dumoulin all added goals for the Penguins, who trailed for most of the night. Tristan Jarry was pulled after allowing four first-period goals while replacement Case DeSmith also allowed four goals on 14 shots in the loss.

Tristan Jarry is scheduled to patrol the crease for the Penguins once again on Thursday night. He comes in with a 15-8-2 overall record to go along with a 2.91 GAA and .906 save percentage in 26 starts this season. However, he struggled in his return to the lineup on Tuesday, stopping just seven shots before getting pulled. Prior to the game, Jarry told reporters that he was “back to 100 percent” so Pittsburgh is hoping that Tuesday’s performance was just a blip on the radar for the 25-year-old.

He comes in with a 3-0 record to go along with a 3.22 GAA and .896 save percentage in four starts against New York this season.

Rangers' offense explodes in win vs. Pens

New York pushed its points streak to four games on Tuesday with an 8-4 victory at home versus the Pittsburgh Penguins. Igor Shesterkin stopped 41 of 45 shots while Artemi Panarin finished with a goal and three assists for the Rangers, who had one of their most dominant special teams performances of the season. New York converted on all three of its power plays and added a shorthanded goal in the third period to seal the win.

Igor Shesterkin will be back between the pipes for the Rangers on Thursday evening. The 25-year-old has turned things around following a slow start to the season and enters with a 10-8-2 overall record to go along with a 2.36 GAA and .924 save percentage in 21 games (19 starts). He is also coming off of his best month of the year. In five March starts, Shesterkin compiled a 4-1-0 record with a 2.05 GAA and .941 save percentage, all representing his best marks in any month this season.

For what it’s worth, Shesterkin has performed well against Pittsburgh this season, going 2-1-1 with a 2.72 GAA and .907 save percentage in four starts. Both of his wins against the Penguins came at home, where he has posted a strong .929 save percentage.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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After getting blown out on Tuesday, it’s hard not to like Pittsburgh’s chances on the road in this game. Prior to his last appearance, Jarry had surrendered three goals or fewer in nine straight games. He also performed well in his previous two starts against the Rangers, so there is hope for a bounce-back effort in this spot. Meanwhile, New York is just 2-5 against the Penguins this season, so there should be some value on the road team in this spot. Take Pittsburgh to come out on top at Madison Square Garden on Thursday night.

Prediction: Pittsburgh Penguins +100

Full-Game Total Pick

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Jarry’s performance on Tuesday was far from inspiring and even if he’s able to bounce back with a strong effort, you have to like your chances with the over in this spot. New York’s offense has been clicking as of late, especially at home. Over their last four games at Madison Square Garden, the Rangers have compiled a healthy 6.75 goals per game. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh has scored at least three goals in six of the seven meetings between these teams this season. Take this matchup to go over the projected total on Thursday night.

Prediction: Over 6
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Written By Nick Raffoul , "Nick Raffoul"

Shortly after graduating with an Honors in Business Administration, Nick turned his attention from traditional stocks and bonds to investing in the performance of sports teams. And has now joined our team here at Winners & Whiners. Nick uses a combination of advanced stats and historical data to create sports investment models to identify value and generate consistent profits. Let Nick win for you.