Hockey Game Preview at YouWager: Penguins vs. Rangers

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New York Rangers

Tip-off: Thursday, January 31, 2013 – 7:00 PM ET

Madison Square Garden, New York, New York

The New York Rangers have bounced back after whats YouWager experts consider a very difficult start of the season. In contrast, the Pittsburgh Penguins have suddenly dropped after a solid opening.

However, New York will try to begin making do without captain Ryan Callahan as they look to stop a pair of losing streaks against the Penguins tonight.

The Rangers (3-3-0) won for the third time in four games earlier this week, holding off the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 to improve to 2-0 on its three-game homestand. Even though there’s been some more of the sloppy play that has hindered them in the early going – New York took three consecutive penalties in the third period – and also got goals from Michael Del Zotto and Callahan while Henrik Lundqvist made 26 saves.

Nevertheless, the win proved to a little difficult as well as Callahan skated off with his left arm dangling after a third-period scrum with Max Talbot, who dragged him to the ice. He suffered a shoulder subluxation that will keep him out 10-14 days, though the Rangers and their online sports betting fans have to be happy that he avoided a major injury.

Even with their surge, coach John Tortorella thinks his team still has a lot of work to do.

Still, the Rangers have progressed since a 6-3 defeat versus the Penguins on Jan. 20 that dropped them to 0-2. James Neal scored twice and Evgeni Malkin had three assists in Pittsburg’s second win in as many games to open 2012-13.

The Penguins (3-3-0) have won five straight in the series, outscoring the Rangers 22-8, and taken three in a row at Madison Square Garden.

Even so, Pittsburg has been having a tough time since that victory, getting outscored 14-7 in dropping three of four and looking listless again in a 4-1 home defeat to the New York Islanders on Tuesday.

Marc-Andre Fleury was pulled after the second period and the Penguins gave it away 11 times, with two of the turnovers leading to goals from the Islanders who had previously lost in 13 of the last 14 road games in the series.