The New Jersey Devils and the New York Rangers have been engaged in NHL betting action for four games in this series, alternating wins and losses. Now, the two are going to duke it out in Game 5 in the Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday night.
The Devils probably haven’t been the better team for the mass majority of this series, but they were definitely the better team in Game 4. Travis Zajac and the offense really came up big, scoring four goals in what amounted to be the best scoring output in this series by either team. It was also the first game in which the penalty kill ended up being perfect, though in the end, there was only one kill that had to be done. Martin Brodeur really hasn’t been as good as Henrik Lundqvist in this series, and that is going to be a problem that New Jersey has to overcome. The fact of the matter is that Brodeur, at 40 years old, just isn’t going to be able to do what Lundqvist can do in a likely Vezina Trophy winning season.
It is amazing to think that these four goals that were allowed on Monday night marked the first time that New York allowed more than three goals in a game in these playoffs. Not bad for a team that has already had to play a pair of Game 7s just to get into the third round of the postseason. The scary matter here for the Rangers is how many more penalties they have taken in this series. There were 11 penalty kills in just two games on the road, an there have been a total of 18 penalty kills in this series. That’s just far, far too many, though we know that this is a series that has been, and will continue to be chippy. Still, in the end, the offense has to have more chances to get the job done, and spending almost a quarter of the game on the kill isn’t going to help matters in that issue.
In the end though, the Rangers really are the better of these two teams, and we don’t think that this really is a pick ‘em type of an issue. New York should get the job done more often than not, and we think that only having to lay -130 with it is a bit of a steal, though we know that Game 5 will once again be tight.
New Jersey Devils @ New York Rangers Game 5 Pick: New York Rangers -130