Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#41 N.Y. Rangers 6.5 vs.
#42 New Jersey Devils -125
Thursday, October 17, 2019 at 7:05pm EDT
Prudential Center, Newark
Written by Chris Kubala

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#41 New York
#42 New Jersey
2-1
0-6
32-50
31-51
40-38-4
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A pair of geographical and Metropolitan Division rivals take the ice in the Garden State looking for a victory. The New York Rangers take the short trip to face the New Jersey Devils Thursday night. New York was dropped 4-1 on the road by Edmonton in their last game Saturday afternoon. New Jersey was dumped 6-4 at home by Florida in their last game Monday. The Rangers took three of the four meetings last season though it was New Jersey earning a 4-2 home victory in the last matchup on April 1, 2019.

New York Rangers Well Rested For Division Matchup

New York had a week off before taking the ice against Edmonton at home and ended up on the short end of the scoreboard. The Rangers now have another four days off before taking the ice in this contest. New York is tied for eighth in the league with 3.67 goals per contest. The Rangers are tied for 13th in goals against as they allow three goals per game. New York is third in the league in power play percentage as they convert 33.3 percent of their chances with the man advantage. The Rangers are tied for 11th in penalty killing as they successfully navigate 83.3 percent of their shorthanded situations.

The Rangers were unable to channel that extended break between games into a victory as Edmonton pulled away late. New York was outshot 8-7 in the opening period of play but skated off with a 1-0 advantage on the scoreboard. Kaapo Kakko scored his first NHL goal at the 18:28 mark off an assist from Ryan Strome. The second period saw each team fire only five shots on goal but the Rangers gave up the lone goal of the period to leave the game tied at one after 40 minutes. During the final period, New York was outshot 14-9 and outscored 3-0 to end up with the defeat. Henrik Lundqvist made 23 saves for the Rangers in the loss: they were outshot 27-21 in the game.

New Jersey Devils Still Searching for First Victory

New Jersey ended up on the wrong side of the scoreboard again as they dropped to 0-4-2 on the year. The Devils blew a three-goal lead, marking the second time they had blown a lead of at least three goals this season. New Jersey is tied for 28th in the league in lighting the lamp as they average 2.17 goals per contest. The Devils are a dismal 30th in the league in goals against as they surrender 4.50 goals per game. New Jersey is tied for 29th in the league in power play success as they have converted zero percent of their chances with the man advantage: they are zero for 18 thus far. The Devils are dead last, or 31st, in the league in penalty killing as they have been successful in only 57.1 percent of their shorthanded situations this season.

The Devils had strong offensive play but their goaltending and defensive zone presence wilted en route to another disheartening loss. New Jersey was outshot 12-8 in the opening period but skated off with a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes of play. After falling behind 16 seconds into the game, Taylor Hall tied the game with his first of the year at 2:28 off assists from Pavel Zacha and Sami Vatanen. In the final minute of play, Jesper Bratt scored his first of the year at 19:13 off assists from Zacha and Nikita Gusev to take a 2-1 lead. During the second period, shots were even at nine and both teams scored twice, leaving the Devils with a 4-3 lead. Will Butcher gave New Jersey a 3-1 lead at the 32 second mark off assists from Travis Zajac and Miles Wood. Just 36 seconds later, Zacha scored his first of the year at 1:08 off assists from Hall and P.K. Subban made it a 4-1 game. New Jersey gave up two goals to make it a one-goal game after two periods. In the final period, the Devils were outshot 13-4 and outscored 3-0 to end up with the loss. Cory Schneider made 28 saves in the loss: New Jersey was outshot 34-21 in the game.

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New Jersey has owned leads of three and four goals this season and turned both those games into defeats. The Devils are awful on the power play and miserable in shorthanded situations this season. Goaltending has been a problem as the team has had a tough time keeping the puck out of the net. New York is rested and they have plenty of motivation to avoid being the team that the Devils snap their losing skid against. The Rangers are the better team on paper: look for Lundqvist to backstop his team to a road victory here.

Prediction: New York Rangers +111

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New York is well-rested: they've played just one game since facing Ottawa on October 5. The Rangers are a pretty solid offensive team as the additions of guys like Artemi Panarin and Kakko are bound to pay dividends. New Jersey has been weak defensively and their special teams are abysmal in all facets. The Devils have to find a way to keep the puck out of their own net. It's hard to figure out how they are favored given their inability to earn a victory. Can the Rangers keep New Jersey struggling?

The under is 4-0 in the Rangers' last 4 when their opponent allows 5 goals or more in their previous game, 4-0 in their last 4 overall and 8-1-2 in their last 11 games as an underdog of +110 to +150. New Jersey has seen the under go 5-1-1 in their last seven games against Metropolitan Division teams and 4-1 in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of greater than .600. Look for this one to end up falling short of the mark as the Devils struggle to put the puck in the net while the Rangers are content with getting and maintaining a lead.

Prediction: Under 6.5
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.