The Rangers come into this game of NHL Picks in the middle of a disappointing season thus far at 16-13-3 having played below expectations. Part of the reason could be blamed on missing Sean Avery in the line up since when he gets 10 minutes or more of ice time the Rangers are 9-3-1. When gets less than that or doesn’t play at all the Rangers are only 7-10-2. The Rangers hope that he will be back in the lineup tonight after missing the past eight games following arthroscopic surgery on his left wrist on Nov. 29. The Rangers need something to get them going as they are only 1-4-1 in their last six games. More importantly for the Rangers however is getting starting goaltender Henrik Lundqvist back in action as he was out of the lineup with the flu when they lost on Sunday 5-1 l to Phoenix. His backup Steven Valiquette didn’t’ play well at all allowing four of five goals in the second period. The Rangers defense has been horrible lately allowing 20 of their 75 goals this season in their last four losses. In addition they have lost three in a row at home and are only 6-6-3 at Madison Square Garden. BetUs.com has the Rangers listed as a -140 favorite on the money line and -1.5/+200 on the Puck Line.
Pittsburgh on the season sits at 16-14-2 and snapped a two game losing streak when they beat the New York Islanders 3-2 on Saturday. Rookie Tyler Kennedy scored the winning goal and added two assists as the Penguins won for the fourth time in five road games. Kennedy has played well as he has six goals and four assists in his first 19 games. Pittsburgh is hoping to improve on their scoring as they sit only 13th in the NHL scoring 2.75 goals per game. The main issue however has been their defense as they rank a lowly 22nd in the league giving up an average of 2.91 goals per game.
The Rangers are dead last in the NHL in scoring averaging only 2.16 goals per game and that could spell trouble for the faithful as Pittsburgh is10-2 ATS in road games against teams scoring less than 2.55 goals per game over the last 2 seasons.
Pittsburgh looks for their second win in a row while New York looks to snap a two game losing streak. Which will happen?
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