The New York Rangers are the top seed in the Eastern Conference, and they are going to try to make that stick against the Ottawa Senators in Game 1 of in NHL playoff betting action in the East.
The good news for the Senators is that they were able to take three of the four games in the regular season when these two teams met. They played outstanding defense in those clashes, posting a shutout in this venue in January and taking a 4-1 decision back in the Great White North in March. The bad news though, is that since that victory at Scotia Bank Place, they really haven’t been that good. Ottawa is limping into the postseason with three straight losses in which it scored just a total of four goals in those games, and now, it has to go up against one of the hottest goaltenders in the entire league. Craig Anderson doesn’t have a heck of a lot of experience at this level, though at least he had a lot better season this year than he did with the Colorado Avalanche last year before getting traded to Ottawa at the deadline. Still, it is the inconsistency of the offense that scares us. The team has averaged just 2.8 goals per game since the win over New York on March 8th, but in there are four games with at least four goals scored. Aside from that, there is a game with three goals, three with two goals, and the rest the team was either shut out or was only able to light the lamp once.
The Rangers have to be smiling right now. This was really the best matchup in the first round that they could have asked for, and they really should capitalize on it in spite of their shortcomings against the Sens this season. New York did lose three of its final four games, but the truth of the matter is that the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference was wrapped up before those last two losses. We would have really liked to see Henrik Lundqvist earn a 40th win this season, but he came up just a victory short. Still, he had a .930 save percentage and a 1.97 GAA, and there are few net minders in the game that can say that they have the same type of impact that he does on the game. For years, he had to carry this team into the postseason, and at least now, he has a bit of an offense to fall back on, headed up by a ton of youngsters that are just starting to flourish.
The Final Word: The Senators just don’t have the goods to be able to win a game on the road in this series as we see it. Ottawa might have that “deer in headlights” look going against New York on the hallowed ice of Madison Square Garden, and New York and its fans are going to want to get the job done, knowing that the chants of “Nine-teen Nine-ty Four” might be starting in the near future if the Rangers don’t get the job done.
Ottawa Senators @ New York Rangers Pick: New York Rangers -180
Andrew Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.