NHL Stanley Cup Eastern Conference Finals
No.6 New Jersey Devils vs. No.1 New York Rangers
Money Line: New Jersey +115 New York -135
Total Line: 4.5
The New Jersey Devils will try and finally gain an edge in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference Finals showdown against the New York Rangers this Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden with a win in Game 5 of a series that is currently tied 2-2. All the action is slated to get underway at 8 p.m. (ET) and the game will be broadcast nationally on the NBC Sports Network.
New Jersey not only won Game 4 on Monday night to even things up, it made a statement with a 4-1 victory as a 121-home favorite. This was payback for two 3-0 shutouts it endured in Game 1 as a 119 road underdog and in Game 3 as a 106 home favorite. The total has yet to go ‘over’ in this series with two games staying ‘under’ and two ending in a ‘push’.
The star power of the Devils shined on Monday night with Zach Parise, Travis Zajac, and Ilya Kovalchuk combining for three goals and two assists to add to their postseason total of 18 goals and 19 assists in 16 games. Martin Brodeur also played a major role in this crucial victory by stopping 28 of the Rangers’ 29 shots-on-goal.
New York once again failed to capitalize on a series lead as this team appears to be hell-bent on taking every playoff series the distance. The Rangers played with no sense of urgency and seemed resigned to the fact that this series was going back to New York as a best-of-three contest.
While both Chris Kreider and Dan Girardi where extremely quiet in Game 4 after tearing things up in the first three games of this series with a combined five goals and three assists, do not expect that to carry through another game. Also expect a much better effort from Rangers’ goalie Henrik Lundqvist, who is coming off one of his worst performances of the postseason after playing brilliantly in the majority of the other games.
The Devils are 5-2 in their last seven games as underdogs on the road and the total has stayed ‘under’ in three of their last four games as road underdogs.
The Rangers are 16-6 in their last 22 games following a loss by three goals or more. The total has stayed UNDER in six of their last 11 playoff games as favorites.
These two Atlantic Division rivals have evenly split their last 10 meetings at five games apiece, but the home team is now 5-2 in the last seven games. The total has gone ‘over’ in just one of the last eight meetings.
In a series that is destined to go the full seven games, it is New York’s turn to entertain its home-town fans with a victory in what should be a hard-fought battle to the bitter end.
New York 2 New Jersey 1