#6 New Jersey Devilsvs.#5 New York Rangers
Tuesday, March 3 2017, at 7:05pm EDT
Written by David Hess
New York Rangers (45-24-0-3 SU, 35-37 PL, 36-31-5 O/U) vs New Jersey Devils (26-33-10-2 SU, 38-33 PL, 26-26-19 O/U)
When: 7:00 PM ET, Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Where: Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey
Lines: NY Rangers -150/New Jersey +130
NHL hockey action on Tuesday evening and the New York Rangers will square off with the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. The Rangers enter this game off a 3-2 home win over the Minnesota Wild, but they have still lost three of their last five games, while the Devils come in off a 4-1 home loss at the hands of the Blue Jackets and they have now lost 12 of their last 13 games. The Rangers are 5-2 in their last seven trips to New Jersey, but the home team is 5-1 the last six meetings between these teams.
The New York Rangers have been a very inconsistent team of late as they have won just five of their last 11 games. The Rangers will still be a part of the postseason as they are in the 7th spot in the Eastern Conference and with a 14 point lead over Toronto, who is in the 8th slot. In their last game, they faced the Wild on the road and they walked away with a 3-2 win in that game. Scoring for the Rangers in the win was Brady Skjei, which was his 4th of the year, Oscar Lindberg, which was his 6th of the year and Jimmy Vesey, which was his 15th of the year. It is not surprising that the took the win in Minnesota as they have gone 26-9 on the road for the year, which is the top road record in the league so far. Winning on the road is important in the postseason and that could pay dividends for the Rangers down the line.
Antti Raanta got the win against the Wild as he continues to get playing time while Henrik Lundqvist is out. Raanta is now 15-8 with a 2.30 GAA on the year, including 11-2 with a 2.08 GAA on the road, while against the Devils in his career he has gone 4-0 with a 1.99 GAA. The Rangers check in at 5th in the league in scoring at 3.17 gpg, while also ranking 18th in shots taken (30.0 spg) and 17th in power play conversions, converting on 18.6% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice they have been decent as they rank 11th in goals allowed, giving up 2.58 gpg, while also ranking 13th in shots allowed (30.1) and 21st in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 19.9% of their chances.
The losing continues for the New Jersey Devils as they have now lost 12 of their last 13 games after falling at home to Columbus on Sunday by a score of 4-1. They now have the fewest points in the Eastern Conference and the 3rd fewest in the league and they are playing the worst hockey in the league right now. Just a horrible run for the proud franchise and now they have to try and pick up a win against the best road team in the league. Good luck. Scoring their lone goal in the loss to the Blue Jackets was Adam Henrique, which was his 19th of the year and that is 2nd on the team behind Kyle Palmieri, who has 25. The Devils are now just 14-20 here at home. Despite scoring just one goal in their loss to Columbus, they have put up 154 goals in their last four games, but they have also allowed 17 over the same stretch.
Taking the loss against the Blue Jackets was Cory Schneider and he has now gone 19-33 with a 2.72 GAA on the year, including 13-15 with a 2.53 GAA here at home, while against the Rangers in his career he has gone 4-9 with a 2.52 GAA. New Jersey enters this contest ranked 28th in the league in scoring at 2.27 gpg, while also ranking 30th in shots taken (27.6 spg) and 19th in power play conversions, converting on 18.4% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice they are a bit below average as they come in ranked 23rd in goals allowed, giving up 2.92 gpg, while also ranking 21st in shots allowed (31.1) and 16th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 19.2% of their chances.
New York is:
New Jersey is:
This is a complete mismatch on paper, but sometimes it doesn’t always play out that way. I feel that it will in this one. The Rangers are the best road team in the league at 26-9, while the Devils have gone just 7-19 in their last 26 games at home, plus they are just 1-4 in their last five games against the Rangers. New York has not played great on offense of late, but the Devils have allowed 17 goals in their last four games and while their offense has played better of late, they will be taking on Antti Raanta, who is 11-2 with a 2.08 GAA. I look for a very easy win by the Rangers in this one.
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