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Betting Predictions For Rangers Devils - Evenly-Matched Eastern Conference Finals

Posted by Don Melrose on 5/24/2012 3:12:02 PM

The 2012 NHL Eastern Conference Finals have acquired a very familiar feel for the New York Rangers. How will their journey through the playoffs take shape this time around?

East Finals, Game 6: New York Rangers @ New Jersey Devils – Friday, May 25
Sports betting line: N/A

Why New York Will Win

When you place a bet on an NHL playoff game after looking at any of several betting sites, there will be a need to look at some comparisons and decide which one makes the most sense or carries the most weight. The New York Rangers have amazingly managed to reduplicate the first two rounds of their playoff run in this East Finals series against the New Jersey Devils. New York has won Game 1, lost Game 2, won Game 3, and lost Game 4 in all three of its playoff series. In round one against Ottawa, the Rangers lost Game 5 and won Game 6 to force a Game 7 on home ice. In round two against Washington, the Rangers won Game 5 and lost Game 6 to force a Game 7 on home ice.

After doing the same old thing in Games 1 through 4 against New Jersey, the Rangers lost Game 5 on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden. Will they gravitate to their Game 7 default position and win Game 6 in Newark, N.J., or will a Ranger series end before a Game 7 for the first time in these playoffs? That's the question people betting on this game (or thinking about betting on this game) have to answer before they make a play. At any rate, while wrestling with that query, one must simply consider the notion that Henrik Lunqvist, New York's stellar goaltender, is the best netminder in the NHL.

Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Quick has been superb in the playoffs, and Phoenix netminder Mike Smith was the MVP for the Coyotes in the first two rounds of the playoffs. However, over the course of all three playoff rounds, no goaltender has been better or more influential than Lundqvist. He has "stolen" more wins for his team against the run of play than any other goalie, with the possible exception of Smith. Lundqvist always gives the Rangers an excellent chance to win.

Why New Jersey Will Win

The people who are studying the sportsbook odds in this game will calmly point out that New Jersey has home ice and has outplayed the Rangers for most of this series – certainly not all the time, but definitely in most periods. New Jersey clearly outflanked and outmaneuvered New York in the first two periods of Games 1 through 4. The Devils won more battles for loose pucks along the boards and created more quality scoring chances. If this team simply continues to do what it has been doing, it has a very good chance of being successful.

Who Will Win?

While New Jersey has the lead in this series, and while the Devils won Game 5 on Wednesday, New York weirdly yet genuinely played its best game of the series. The Rangers know they can figure out Martin Brodeur in the New Jersey net. The Devils should expect New York goalie Henrik Lundqvist to return to his elite form after an awful stink bomb of a performance in Game 5. The Rangers will take this series back to Madison Square Garden for a Game 7 by winning Game 6.

NHL Betting Pick: New York Rangers

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