NHL Betting: The Penguins will pick up a victory against the Rangers


New York Rangers - Pittsburgh Penguins

Staying alive again is the aim for New York after pulling the series back to 3-2. They had the emotional tide with them during Game 5 on Friday and it wasn't because they were facing elimination.

Martin St Louis hasn't been a Ranger for long but his teammates played hard in full support of the veteran whose mother had passed away the day before. The 5-1 scoreline was as conclusive as it looked as the Penguins couldn't match their togetherness, plus I think there was a sense of confusion in the building as New York's powerplay registered for the first time in 38 attempts.

As much as we look for strategical edges sometimes it does just come down to which club wants it more. The Pens are yet to lose back to back in these playoffs and have reacted particularly well to losses in my eyes.

We're back to pretty much a coin toss at MSG and Pittsburgh were ice cool in this exact position in the first round too. They've had chance to reassess and will be very disappointed if they don't bring it tonight.

 

Chicago Blackhawks - Minnesota Wild

Work to do for the reigning champions who need to address the momentum shift in Minnesota's favour after the series was tied up on Friday.

Not allowing the disappointment of their opponents equalising twice to knock them from their gameplan showed admirable resolve from the Wild and they've deserved everything they've earned over their two home games.

As has been the pattern the Blackhawks were restricted in the shot column but a few more quality chances were created this time around and Ilta Bryzgalov came up with a few timely stops in net.

Duncan Keith usually takes the plaudits on Chicago's plaudits but the Norris Trophy nominee is being eclipsed by his defensive partner at the moment, Brent Seabrook is tied with Marian Hossa for the team's playoff scoring lead despite missing three games of the first round due to suspension.

Speaking of Hossa - the Slovak and Patrick Sharp are the Hawks' two leaders in shots but their conversion rate on opportunities is very low with only four playoff goals between them, that's an issue that translates to some of the Wild's stars like Mikku Koivu and Jason Pominville who have also been profligate with their attempts on net.

At least those guys are getting more looks and certainly Minnesota out at 3.90 is far from a far reflection, I don't see it being enough to overturn the sequence of home victories though so back Chicago here at 1.80.

 

Best Bet: Pittsburgh Penguins to win at 2.60.