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Devils Rangers Betting Line has New York -130 Favorite in Game 5
Carrie Stroup here with your Devils Rangers betting line where New York was a -130 favorite in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals. As always, new customers qualify for up to $250 in FREE CASH at Sportsbook when joining here.
Sportsbook.ag Line & Total: New York -130 & 4.5 over -120
The Hudson River Rivalry shifts back to Madison Square Garden for Game 5 on Wednesday as the Eastern Conference Finals become a best-of-three series.
True to their postseason zigzag trend, the Rangers dropped Game 4 by a 4-1 score on Monday in New Jersey. The Blueshirts have now failed to notch back-to-back wins in a series in 11 straight games, and New York fell to 0-3 in Game 4’s in these playoffs. The Devils played like the hungrier team, and head coach Peter DeBoer’s line shifting had a positive effect on the New Jersey lineup, as the Devils became the first team to score more than three goals on the Rangers in the postseason. After four games, it’s clear that the Devils hold an advantage at the forward position when they show a commitment to creating traffic in front of Rangers’ goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. If the Devs continue to forecheck aggressively, they have enough team speed to bury a Rangers team that continues to struggle to generate consistent offense. The way this series has gone though, it would be difficult to pick against the Rangers at home coming off a loss. Instead, look to the total: in the Rangers’ seven games immediately following a loss in the 2012 playoffs, the under is 5-0-2.
The Devils set the tone right from the opening faceoff on Monday, and like Game 2, were able to get the first goal of the contest to set the tone. New Jersey plays such a high-pressure system, constantly applying pressure to keep the puck in the offensive zone, that you can start to see some of fatigue on the Rangers blueline. Tortorella opts to play four defensemen regularly while using two sparingly, and for a team that has already played in two seven-game series, you have to believe the New York defensive corps is starting to tire.
In Game 3, DeBoer shifted Kovalchuk down to play LW on the second line with Adam Henrique and Patrik Elias and brought Dainius Zubrus up to play on the right side with Travis Zajac and Zach Parise—and the switch proved to be a genius move. Parise had two goals and an assist—a beautiful cross-ice saucer pass to Zajac on a 2-on-1—to lead New Jersey. Henrique and Kovalchuk chipped in assists on Parise’s third-period power play tally, which put the game out of reach. Martin Brodeur also had a strong showing in between the pipes, turning away 28-of-29 shots to increase his SV Pct. to a robust .931 for the series.
It’s no secret that scoring the first goal is important in the NHL, but for the Rangers, it is imperative. In the 2012 playoffs, the Blueshirts are 9-2 when they score first, and 1-6 when they don’t. Make no mistake, this glaring statistic is a direct byproduct of New York’s defensive style, and don’t expect that to change against an aggressive offensive team like the Devils. The Rangers are an excellent hockey club, but they simply do not play a style conducive to playing from behind. Look for Henrik Lundqvist (1.65 GAA, .939 SV Pct. in 2012 playoffs) to have a big bounce-back game on Wednesday after allowing a soft goal to open up the scoring in Game 4.
- Carrie Stroup, Gambling911.com Senior Reporter
Submitted by Carrie Stroup on Wed, 05/23/2012 - 12:18