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Rangers Penguins Betting - Rangers And Penguins Clash In Final Week Of NHL Regular Season

Posted by Don Melrose on 4/2/2012 2:44:56 PM
rangers penguins betting

The New York Rangers’ foremost goal is to gain home-ice advantage throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Pittsburgh Penguins are aiming for seeding advantages.

New York Rangers @ Pittsburgh Penguins – Thursday, April 5 Sports betting line: N/A

Why New York Will Win

The course of this NHL season has been more consistent in the case of the Rangers, who have steadily held onto the top spot in the Eastern Conference, week after week and month after month. After lingering near the bottom of the East in prior seasons, the Rangers – who have always been blessed with top-notch goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist – have now been able to supplement their Swedish superstar with a better, more complete club on the rice. The Rangers can roll more – and better – lines onto the rink, and they don't suffer the way they used to.

While Washington, the former regular-season Eastern Conference champion, has spectacularly tumbled downward in the East standings, the Rangers have taken the Capitals' place as the almost-certain No. 1 seed in the conference. This is a testament to a superior team, so when the Rangers take on Pittsburgh in the next to last game of the regular season, they will skate onto the ice with the credibility of a group that has fended off every imaginable challenge over the course of the regular season. This is a team that should be taken seriously.

Why Pittsburgh Will Win

When you place your sports bet on a regular-season NHL game, you should always account for the particulars of the circumstances that greet a specific gameday situation. In this case, the dynamics surrounding this tilt – the 81st out of 82 regular-season games in the National Hockey League – run strongly in favor of the homestanding Penguins. It's really rather simple: New York will likely enter this game having already locked up home-ice advantage throughout the Eastern Conference.

Yes, New York could perhaps desire to gain the President's Trophy and the top overall seed in the NHL postseason (battling the Vancouver Canucks and St. Louis Blues for that prize, should the Rangers meet one of those teams in the Stanley Cup Finals), but in terms of a realistic set of motivations, the Rangers' primary concern was always to get the number one seed in the East, and since they have a five-point lead over the Penguins heading into Monday, April 2, they're likely to have clinched the top seed when this game begins. New York would clinch if it wins its 80th game, or if any other combination of events leaves the Rangers up by five points heading into game 81. Pittsburgh, though, is facing a much more urgent task. The Penguins are trying to fend off the hard-charging Philadelphia Flyers for home-ice advantage in the first-round playoff series that is likely to unfold between the two Pennsylvania franchises. The Pens and Flyers are occupying the fourth and fifth slots in the East pecking order, behind second-seeded Boston and third-seeded Florida. Pittsburgh has more to play for in this game than the Rangers do. There's your simple answer about who will win this online sportsbooks game.

Who Will Win?

Pittsburgh wants to host a Game 7 if it plays Philadelphia in the first round. That's a more urgent task and a more short-term goal. That kind of incentive should propel the Pens past the Rangers.

NHL Betting Pick: Pittsburgh

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