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How To Bet On Devils Rangers - Conference Finals Reaches An Urgent Stage

Posted by Don Melrose on 5/22/2012 5:27:20 PM

The 2012 NHL Playoffs are going to crown the two conference champions in the next seven days, if not sooner. The New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils are playing for high stakes.

East Finals, Game 5: New Jersey Devils @ New York Rangers – Wednesday, May 23
Sports betting line: N/A

Why New Jersey Will Win

When you place a bet on an NHL playoff game after looking at any of several betting sites, there will come a time when you have to make a "fork in the road" kind of decision. In the first round of the NHL playoffs, the New York Rangers lost Game 5 of a 2-2 series on home ice against the Ottawa Senators. In the second round of the playoffs, the Rangers won Game 5 of a 2-2 series at home against the Washington Capitals. Which way will the Rangers turn in this series? It's hard to say, but one needs to recall that in the second round against Washington, the Rangers were outplayed for most of the final two periods and trailed the Capitals heading into the final 30 seconds of regulation. It was only then that Washington committed a penalty, giving the Rangers just enough freedom on the ice to crash the net and get a tying goal by Brad Richards with 6.6 seconds left in regulation.

New York got outplayed for most of the first four games against Washington and was outgunned in Game 5 before stealing a late win. In this series, New Jersey has outplayed New York for most of the first four games as well. If the basic overall flow of the game follows the first four games, New Jersey is more likely to win. The Rangers really need to dig deep with a clutch performance and get the Devils on their heels. New York has relied far too much on its elite goaltender, Henrik Lundqvist, instead of taking the fight to the Devils. The way this series is playing out, New Jersey is probably going to dictate the style and pace of play in the first two periods. If Lundqvist doesn't stand on his head, the Rangers are in trouble.

Why New York Will Win

The people who are studying the sportsbook odds in this game will calmly point out that while Henrik Lundqvist needs to play a top-notch game in order for the Rangers to win, that's exactly what the goalie's track record has been in the playoffs. Lundqvist stole at least two games in each of the Rangers' first two playoff series. He's primarily responsible for New York's first two wins in this series, so even if New Jersey plays well for extended stretches, Lundqvist has already shown that he can swim against the tide and lift his team, the Broadway Blueshirts, to yet another victory. Who cares about the run of play when a goaltender can perform at the height of his powers? Lundqvist will carry the Rangers to victory here.

Who Will Win?

While New Jersey is coming off a strong Game 4 performance, it's hard to imagine Lundqvist getting beaten for a second straight night. "King Henrik" will own the Garden, and the Rangers will go up 3-2 in this thrilling series.

NHL Betting Pick: New York Rangers

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