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Rangers vs Devils Betting – Rangers Will Edge Rivals

Posted by Don Melrose on 3/9/2010 3:29:10 PM

The sportsbook makers have been a little hard on the New York Rangers lately, and with good reason. Since the NHL resumed play after the Olympic break the Rangers have lost 3 of 4. After beating Ottawa 4-1 in their first game back, the Rangers have fought their way through three disappointing games against top Eastern Conference teams Buffalo, Washington and Pittsburgh. So while the Rangers are showing some promise by staying in close games with the top teams, the online betting community is still not impressed because the results have all been losses.

  • Rangers vs Devils Betting: Rangers desperately need a win
  • Brodeur has lost three of his last five games
  • Expect another low-scoring result
  • Devils have six players with double-digit goals

The Rangers currently sit two points out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The New Jersey Devils are fourth in the conference. When the sports betting started at the beginning of the season the Devils were projected to give the Penguins a run for their money in the Atlantic Division, and that is exactly how the season started. But as the year has wore on, world class goaltender Martin Brodeur is starting to show his age. Brodeur started very strong, but he has lost three of his last five games with a save percentage well below .900. Backup goalie Yann Danis has played well when called upon, but he has only played four games this season. It is obvious that, as in previous years, the Devils will live or die with Brodeur.

NHL betting can be a tricky business. There are so many factors that enter in to how a game will turn out. No one expects someone like Ranger goaltender Henrik Lundqvist to get blasted for three or four goals in one period, but it can happen and when it does it makes a mess of everything. The Rangers are a complete mystery. With a roster that includes names like Marian Gaborik, Olli Jokinen, Chris Drury and the aforementioned Lundqvist it is expected to be at least a playoff team. But the Rangers have continually fallen short, and it does not appear to be getting any better.

The Devils are chasing the Penguins for top spot in the Atlantic Division and trail the Penguins by five points. Breaking down the upcoming Rangers @ Devils game puts the spotlight on three areas; goaltending, offense and power play.

Lundqvist gets the nod in the goaltending category. While Brodeur will go down as one of the greatest goalies of all time, if not the greatest, his career is winding down. He is no longer able to hold up the Devils and push them into the playoffs. Brodeur has better stats than Lundqvist for the season, but the last five games for Brodeur are very telling of where he is headed for the end of the season. He has given up 11 goals in three losses in the last five games.

The Devils have a respectable offensive team. They hold much more firepower than the Rangers do, and that could be why the Rangers are having so many problems. The Devils have six players with double-digits in goals including Ilya Kovalchuk who has 34. The Rangers have seven players with double-digit goals and after you get past the 35 goals scored by Marian Gaborik the production really tails off. The Devils top six scorers are out-producing the Rangers top seven.

The Rangers and Devils have almost identical power play numbers. They rank 12th and 13th in the league with each team changing spots after every game. It is the penalty kill where the Rangers have the advantage. The Rangers have the 6th ranked penalty kill in the league while the Devils fall to 19th. What may save the Devils here is that the Devils are one of the least penalized teams in the league while the Rangers are one of the most penalized teams. If the Devils can continue to stay out of the penalty box then they give themselves a chance to win, if they get careless they could give up a power play goal or two.

The game is in New Jersey so there is a very good chance that the Devils can keep their cool and stay out of the penalty box. The key here is in net. Lundqvist can out-play Brodeur especially after Brodeur’s national embarrassment in the Olympics of getting pulled for Roberto Luongo. This will be a grinding, low scoring game. There is enough leadership in the Rangers locker room to understand the importance of every point on the schedule from now on. The Rangers may take some penalties this game, but they will do it crashing the net and putting pressure on Brodeur.

Don’s Pick: Rangers 2-1

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