The New York Rangers and the New Jersey Devils split the first two games in their best-of-seven series. They’ll take each other on in Game 3 in NHL betting action on Saturday afternoon at the Prudential Center.
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The Rangers have had some interesting form here in the playoffs. They are 3-0 in Game 1s, 0-3 in Game 2s, 2-0 in Game 3s, and 0-2 in Game 4s. That definitely is something that has to be unsettling for the Devils in this third game of this series, but Head Coach John Tortorella knows that he just needs to get more out of his offense when the two teams are at even strength. Of the five goals scored in this series by New York, three have come on the power play. The defense has been great in this entire postseason, holding all 16 foes to three goals or fewer. That being said, the time is going to come when Henrik Lundqvist cracks, and there hasn’t been a game this year in the playoffs in which the Rangers have won after allowing three goals. That’s just not the norm here in the postseason, and someone, whether it be the relatively quiet Brad Richards or the suddenly slumping Marian Gaborik, that has to step up their offensive game to carry this team to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1994.
Give the Devils all of the credit in the world for withstanding a terribly overmatched second period against the Rangers in Game 2 on the road three nights ago. They were able to hang in there and get into the locker room tied at two goals apiece in spite of the fact that New York scored on two power play chances, and they were able to regroup at that point. It shouldn’t be all that much of a surprise that New Jersey landed on three in the second game of this series; the team has either three or four goals scored in all but three of its playoff games this year. It seems a bit odd that only Ilya Kovalchuk and Travis Zajac have reached double digits worth of points for the Devils in the playoffs, but there are several others that have come out of nowhere to be stars, just like Adam Henrique with his eight points or David Clarkson with his nine. It is going to take a well-rounded effort to be able to beat the Rangers three more times in what has essentially become a best-of-five series at this point.
New York Rangers @ New Jersey Devils Game 3 Pick: We’ve been backing the Rangers from the beginning of this series, and we see no reason to change that right now. New York is the better club in our eyes, although not by all that much, and we think that, at worst, this is a tossup of a game. Go with the visitors at plus hockey odds on Saturday afternoon.
Free Hockey Pick: New York Rangers +110
Aaron 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.