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The New York Rangers are 2-1-2 in their last five games.
The New Jersey Devils have won four of their previous five games.
The Devils were 3-0-1 against the Rangers this season.
Odds Taken from FanDuel Sportsbook.
New York Rangers
New Jersey Devils
47-22-13 (3rd in Metropolitan Division)
52-22-8 (2nd in Metropolitan Division)
Artemi Panarin (92)
Jack Hughes (99)
Mika Zibanejad (39)
Jack Hughes (43)
Artemi Panarin (63)
Jack Hughes (56)
Ryan Lindgren (29)
Tomas Tatar (41)
Mika Zibanejad (3.06)
Shots (Per Game)
Jack Hughes (4.31)
The New York Rangers will travel to Newark, New Jersey, to face the Devils in the First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Devils had a lot of success against the Rangers this year, winning three of four games.
The Rangers finished the season in third place in the Metropolitan Division with 112 points. New York attempted to move up to second late in the season but only won two of their last five games. On the other side, the Devils have turned it around after missing the Playoffs last season. New Jersey finished the year in second place in the Metropolitan with 112 points.
The Rangers made some big moves at the Trade Deadline, acquiring Patrick Kane and Vladimir Tarasenko. These two have been solid offensive additions and will play some key minutes on the ice. Offensively, the Rangers finished the season just outside of the top ten. Sometimes, they struggle to score but have the ability to put up four goals on any given night. Defensively, they are significantly better and in the top five. New York allowed less than 2.7 goals per game and owe much of their success to Adam Fox and their defensemen.
The Rangers are led by Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad, Adam Fox, and Vincent Trochek. These players all finished with at least 64 points this season. It is also worth noting that Adam Fox is one of the best defensemen in the NHL and is largely responsible for the Rangers’ defensive success this season.
Igo Shesterkin will get the start in net this game. Shesterkin has spent many years in New York and finished the season with 37 wins and a .916 save percentage.
The Devils have been strong all season long. They are not as good as the Boston Bruins, but their 112 points were the second-most this season. New Jersey has plenty of offensive weapons and finished the season with the fourth-highest-scoring offense. However, their offense is not the only impressive part of their team. New Jersey also has a great defense. They are a touch worse than the Rangers, but still very hard to score on.
The Devils are led by Jack Hughes, Nico Hischier, Dougie Hamilton, and Jesper Bratt. Hughes led this group with 99 points, but the other three all had at least 73 points.
Vitek Vanecek will be in the net for the Devils. Vanecek was a workhorse for the Devils this season and will be vital to their playoff success. The 27-year-old finished the year with 33 wins and a .911 save percentage.
The Devils are playing at home and had a lot of success against the Rangers in the regular season, so I would bet on them to win Game 1.
The Rangers are the underdogs but will win with strong defense and a power play goal.
As I mentioned before, the Rangers have a great defense. However, they will be facing a Devils team that averaged over 3.5 goals per game this season and has 23 goals in their previous five game. The Rangers’ defensemen must play strong hockey and slow down the Devils’ offense.
The Rangers had a great power-play unit this season and converted over 24% of their opportunities. This unit provided New York with some much-needed goals and must provide the Rangers with a goal today.
The Devils are the favorites but will only emerge victorious if they score first and pass to Jack Hughes.
The Devils will start the Playoffs at home and must score the first goal of this game. If they do, they will have the momentum to start the series and be able to start on a good note.
Jack Hughes is a young star in the NHL and will be the face of the Devils for years to come. Hughes is the Devils’ best source of offense and leads New Jersey with 99 points. His teammates must set him up with scoring opportunities.
I have spoken a couple of times about the Rangers’ defense. Their defense is led by Adam Fox. Fox could win another Norris Trophy this year but must get through the Playoffs first. He will need to take charge of his defense in this game and slow down the Devils’ hot offense.
I spoke above about Jack Hughes, but Jesper Bratt will also play a large role in this game. This winger is the second-best scorer on this team and will be the Devils’ #2 option in this game. He must star in that role and take advantage of his scoring opportunities.
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What - New York Rangers vs New Jersey Devils
Where - Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey
When - Tuesday, April 18, 7:00 PM EST
How to Watch - TBS
Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]More info on Max Heering
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