The New York Rangers travel to take on the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight in Game 3 of their NHL Playoffs series in the opening round. The game is scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on the NBC Sports Network. Currently the betting odds for the game have the Rangers favored in this one despite being on the road.
This series is tied 1-1 through the first two games, the Rangers winning the opening game of the series with Pittsburgh finding a way to steal home-ice advantage in Game 2. Now the Penguins have to go out and put a test on the Rangers, especially in this game tonight. If New York is able to win, the home-ice advantage the Penguins had will be gone.
Pittsburgh won a pair of Stanley Cups in 2008 and 2009 with their young superstars, but now that they are older, the Penguins have picked up just a handful of playoff series wins since reaching the finals. Coaching changes, the rest of the league getting better and the Penguins getting older each year have all worked against them, but a win tonight would be huge. Pittsburgh is talented enough in this spot to take out the NHL's top overall regular season team, but without a win tonight it's going to be tough.
New York doesn't have to win tonight, at least in their mindset, for the series to become critical. But maybe the Rangers are more comfortable away from home, though. New York finished with the best road record on the season at 28-11-2, claiming 15 wins their last 18 games away from home.
Both Sydney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are banged up, even if they won't admit it (Malkin said he was "85 percent" the other day). That has to play into the mindset of both teams, but also has to have Pittsburgh feeling OK with the spot they are in. Goal tending will be huge tonight and Marc-Andre Fleury has to be solid in net for the Pens.
Free Pick: Pittsburgh
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