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New York Rangers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Pick & Prediction MAY 13TH 2022

NHL | HOCKEY
TV: Sportsnet | TVAS | CBC | ATTSN | MSG | TNT
Logo New York Rangers
VS
Logo Pittsburgh Penguins
0
OPENNER
6

-1.5 +190
CURRENT
6.5o 102

+240
MONEYLINE
+260

5
SCORE
3

The Pittsburgh Penguins will have another chance to close out their first-round playoff series Friday when they host the New York Rangers for Game 6.

That much, they know. What the Penguins' lineup will look like is another story.

Of greatest interest is the status of Pittsburgh center and captain Sidney Crosby, who left in the second period of Wednesday's 5-3 Game 5 loss in New York after he got leveled by Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba, when it appeared Crosby took an elbow to the head.

Crosby has a history of concussions, but Penguins coach Mike Sullivan is saying only that his top player is being evaluated for an upper-body injury.

Trouba did not draw a fine or suspension for the hit. Sullivan took the high road: "It's not my responsibility to share my opinion on whether or not it (it was a legal hit). That's the league's job."

It's Sullivan's job to prepare his team, regardless of who is available. After Crosby left Game 5 with Pittsburgh leading 2-0, the Penguins stutter-stepped and the Rangers surged to the comeback win.

"We have a lot of depth at all the positions, and we believe we have what it takes to win," Sullivan said. "We have a capable group. This group has always had the next-man-up mentality, and we'll continue to do that moving forward."

Crosby leads the Penguins with nine points. Fellow center Evgeni Malkin moved up from the second line to Crosby's spot between wingers Jake Guentzel (eight points) and Bryan Rust (six). It seems likely that's where Malkin will play Friday if Crosby isn't available.

"(Malkin) is a superstar player," said Guentzel, who leads Pittsburgh with seven goals. "He's a guy that likes the puck on his stick, and he's just another unreal passer. For me, (it's about) just trying to find open spots and get him the puck as much as possible."

It is unclear whether fellow injured Penguins Tristan Jarry, the No. 1 goaltender, or winger Rickard Rakell will be available Friday. Both have been making progress in practice.

The Rangers, meanwhile, gathered momentum by staving off elimination with the Game 5 rally. Winning in Pittsburgh on Friday would take the series to Game 7 Sunday in New York.

One contributing factor was the play of what is called the Kid Line, the forward combination of young players Alexis Lafreniere, Filip Chytil and Kaapo Kakko.

Lafreniere had a goal and an assist, Chytil a goal and Kakko an assist during the Rangers' comeback Wednesday.

"We are young guys, but I think we have built from every game," Chytil said. "I think we have that chemistry, and we are just trying to play hockey, have fun, and do the right things. I think we are getting better each game."

Lafreniere said, "I think we did a good job of staying calm and sticking to the game. It's a lot of fun, but we have to work hard every shift."

The Rangers also benefited from a bounce-back game from goaltender Igor Shesterkin.

Widely considered the favorite to win the Vezina Trophy as the top goalie during the regular season and on Thursday named a finalist for the Hart Trophy as league MVP, Shesterkin was yanked in each of New York's losses in Games 3 and 4 in Pittsburgh, but coach Gerard Gallant was defiant in saying he is sticking with Shesterkin.

--Field Level Media

PREDICTION
New York Rangers
2
1
Pittsburgh Penguins

New York Rangers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Recap FEB 26TH 2022

Tristan Jarry made 27 saves for his fourth shutout of the season, and Evgeni Malkin scored the game's only goal 5:09 into the third period as the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the visiting New York Rangers 1-0 on Saturday.

The Penguins ended a three-game losing streak and moved back into second place in the Metropolitan Division, one point ahead of the Rangers.

Jarry, who was pulled midway through Pittsburgh's 6-1 home loss to the New Jersey Devils on Thursday, earned his 11th career shutout and first against the Rangers. The division rivals played for the first of four times this season.

The Rangers had won their previous two games and were 5-0-1 in their previous six.

Malkin broke up a scoreless duel between Jarry and New York's Igor Shesterkin after the Penguins got a power play when New York defenseman Ryan Lindgren was called for hooking Sidney Crosby to break up a scoring chance. Crosby controlled the puck in the left corner and fed Bryan Rust in the left circle. Rust's circle-to-circle backhand pass found Malkin, whose one-timer to the far side beat Shesterkin for his eighth goal of the season.

Crosby's assist was the 1,374th career point of his career, moving him into a tie with Mike Modano for 25th on the all-time NHL scoring list. He is the fifth player to reach the top 25 and get all of his points with the same team. Pittsburgh's captain has 24 points in his past 17 games.

Shesterkin finished with 25 saves. He had won seven of his previous nine decisions and 12 of his previous 14 starts.

The Rangers took the game's first seven shots and dominated the first period, finishing with a 12-6 shot advantage, but were unable to beat Jarry. The Penguins kept Shesterkin busier in the second period, when they outshot the Rangers 9-5 and had several fine chances but couldn't score.

--Field Level Media

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