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Rangers Set To Host Iginla, Penguins Wednesday Night

Posted by Don Melrose on 3/31/2013 6:52:25 PM

The New York Rangers have come up well short of last year’s production after finishing with the best record in the Eastern Conference last season. Next up: a date with the team that has taken over top in the conference, and emerged as the online betting favorite to represent the East in this year’s Stanley Cup finals. The Pittsburgh Penguins didn’t wait until the trade deadline to load up with the additions of Brenden Morrow, Douglas Murray, and of course, former Calgary Flames’ captain Jarome Iginla. The Penguins were already favored to win it all before they added those pieces, and will get to show off all three of them this Wednesday night against New York.

Pittsburgh Penguins @ New York Rangers
Wednesday April 3, 2013 – 7:30 PM ET
Madison Square Gardens, New York, New York
NHL Sportsbook Line: Pittsburgh – 130

The Rangers could be in the market for a couple of key pieces heading in to this year’s trade deadline, especially considering the lack of production they have received up front. Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards have combined for just 14 goals, and New York ranks 29th in the NHL in goals per game.

NHL Betting Preview: Pittsburgh Penguins

Pittsburgh’s win streak was already at 14-straight by the time they had acquired Iginla, and it should be interesting to see how he adds to their lineup likely penciled in on the top line with Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz. Morrow will ride shotgun on the second line with Evgeni Malkin and James Neal, and those two additions will make the Penguins’ top two lines a lot tougher to play against. Pittsburgh already leads the league in goals and ranks in the top-10 in goals against, but the three moves they made have put them in a much stronger position in terms of grit heading in to the postseason.

NHL Betting Preview: New York Rangers

The only reason the Rangers are still in contention for a playoff spot is their strong play on home ice, but they will be in tough against the Penguins. Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist has had to be New York’s best player on most nights, and he is a big reason why New York ranks among the league leaders in goals per game allowed. The problem has been at the other end of the ice where the Rangers have struggled to score goals. While the skill is there with guys like Gaborik, Richards, and Rick Nash, New York does not have the same grit it did a year ago when it had players like Brandon Dubinsky and Brandon Prust to open up room for those guys to produce.

NHL Betting Preview: Outlook & Pick

The Rangers should be in the market to add some grit before the deadline, and it wouldn’t shock anyone if they added a player like Ryan Clowe. New York will need to play a very defensively responsible game in order to keep the Penguins from blowing this one wide open, but even then they could have a hard time coming back if Pittsburgh scores a couple of early goals.

NHL Betting Pick: Pittsburgh Penguins

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