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Game 5 – N.Y. vs. Pittsburgh NHL Playoff Betting Predictions & Preview

Rangers vs Penguins Hockey Odds

The Eastern Conference semifinal series between the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers shifts back to the Consol Energy Center for Game 5 on Friday. The Penguins have won three in a row in the series, putting the Rangers on the brink of elimination.

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Eastern Conference semifinals Game 5
PIT leads 3-1
New York Rangers (5-6) at Pittsburgh Penguins (7-3)
Date: Friday, May 9, 2014
Time: 7:00 PM ET
In Canada? Try Pinnacle
Venue: Consol Energy Center
City: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
O/U Odds: 5
Money Line: Pittsburgh -170, New York +156

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The Penguins won Game 4 in New York to take a real stranglehold on this series, and pushing the Rangers to the brink of elimination. Game 4 came on a 4-2 win, thanks in large part to an odd goal by Jussi Jokinen.

Jokinen flung the puck on goal seemingly without the intention of finding the back of the net, but the puck hit off the skate of Rangers defenseman Marc Stall and got past Henrik Lundqvist for the Penguins’ third goal of the game and the eventual game-winner. Jokinen is tied for the playoff lead in goals.

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Jokinen has spent time as a healthy scratch this season, but he’s now been one of the team’s best players in the postseason. He has really keyed the team’s second line ever since Evgeni Malkin was moved up to the top line to play alongside Sidney Crosby in hopes of jumpstarting the captain’s production.
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Of Jokinen’s six goals this postseason, three have been game-winners, tying him with the Blackhawks’ Jonathan Toews for most in these playoffs. Jokinen is also riding an eight-game point streak.

The Rangers are hoping for even a whisper of that kind of production, as they have scored just twice in the last three games in this series. The Penguins are red hot, having won five of their last six games. It’s going to be a tall order, but one the Rangers will have to meet if they are to continue their season.

The Rangers will need a top-flight performance from goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who, quite frankly, has been outdueled by Marc-Andre Fleury thus far. Lundqvist and the Rangers have caught some terrible breaks in this series, but even a tremendous performance from Lundqvist will be wasted if the Rangers can’t figure out a way to find the back of the net with some regularity.

It’s tough to explain the recent struggles of the Rangers, who came into this series looking like the better team, and even stole the opener in Pittsburgh. With their backs against the wall, it’s time for the Rangers to show their true colors, and that’s going to mean picking up a big win in this contest to keep this series going. They’ve already proven that they can win in Pittsburgh.

The road team is 4-1 in the last five meetings between these teams, and the Rangers are 7-2 in their last nine games played on a Friday.

The play: New York +156

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