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Penguins v Rangers Game 4 - NHL Betting Preview

Posted by Don Morris on 5/8/2014 3:54:58 AM

Penguins (-102) at Rangers (-108) Game 4 Playoff Preview

The Pittsburgh Penguins are favored by 1.5 goals going into Game 4 against the New York Rangers. There are a few good reasons why the Penguins are the favorites. Before the series started, it looked as though the Rangers had a promising chance to pull off an upset. The Rangers have the better goalie and Penguins' star Sidney Crosby had been in a playoff funk. However, things have drastically changed in Pittsburgh's favor the last two games.

Marc-Andre Fleury has shutout New York in Games 2 and 3. The last time the Rangers scored a goal was when Derick Brassard scored in overtime for the Rangers' Game 1 victory. The major storyline for the 'Boys of Broadway,' is their inept ability to score on the power play. While Pittsburgh had the NHL's best power play in the regular season; New York was ranked 15th. In the last two games the Rangers are 0-9 with the man advantage. Fleury has struggled this post-season at the end of regulation and overtime. However, the Penguins' goal tender stopped nine shots in the third period of Game 3 and stopped 35 shots overall recording his eight career playoff shutout on Sunday.

Game 3 was the Rangers' fifth game in seven days. Needless to say, Rangers' head coach Alain Vigneault was not happy with the scheduling. "We tried real hard. We were forced to play a stupid schedule," Vigneault said. Fatigue may have certainly played a factor with Rangers' goal tender Hendrik Lundqvist, who was sharp in Game 2, stopping 32 of 34 shots on net. However in Game 3 "King Hendrik" only stopped 13 shots. The Rangers advantage going into this series was their goal tending, as New York was ranked fourth in defense this year.

Although there are three days between Game 3 and Game 4, the Rangers are in serious trouble. Penguins' captain Sidney Crosby finally got the monkey off his back in Game 3. Crosby went 13 playoff games without scoring before scoring in the second period on Sunday. Look for Crosby to be huge the rest of this series. The Hart Trophy finalist will be much more relaxed now that he scored his first playoff goal this post-season. The money line is extremely close (Rangers -108, Penguins -102) but the combination of Fleury playing like Jonathan Quick and the Rangers' terrible power play should equal a Game 4 win for Pittsburgh.

* Betting lines mentioned in this article are subject to change due to time sensitivity. Please visit the sports betting lines for up to date odds.


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