The New Jersey Devils gave up five goals and fell in game one 5-1 to the New York Rangers. It is time to continue our NHL odds series with a game two Rangers-Devils prediction, pick, and how to watch.
The Devils got down early in game one, with Vladimir Tarasenk scoring 4:58 into the game to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead. They added a power play goal in the first and another in the third, before Jack Hughes scored on a penalty shot late in the third to make it 4-1. Filip Chytil added an empty netter giving the Rangers the win. The Devils got off 28 shots, but goaltending let them down. They now will attempt to avoid going down 2-0 in the series as they play at home once again.
Here are the Rangers-Devils NHL odds, courtesy of FanDuel
NHL Playoff Odds: Rangers-Devils Odds
New York Rangers: +1.5 (-230)
New Jersey Devils: -1.5 (+188)
Over: 5.5 (-115)
Under: 5.5 (-105)
How To Watch Rangers vs. Devils
Time: 7:30 PM ET/ 4:30 PM PT
*Watch NHL games LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Why The Rangers Could Cover The Spread
Artemi Panarin led the team this year in points. He was tied for tenth in the league with 63 assists and notched 29 goals of his own. In the six games of April, he has played great. He has four goals and four assists in those games, including a two goals effort in the shootout loss to Buffalo. Panarin continued his hot streak against the Devils. He added assists on the first two goals on the night to help New York get the win. Chris Kreider also had a great game. He scored twice on the power play and now is the all-time leading goals scorer in Rangers playoff history. The two powerplay goals were part of a two-for-three effort for the Rangers, as they shut down all four of the Devils' powerplays to help get the win.
Beyond Panarin and Kreider, Adam Fox had a great game as well. He had four assists in the game, with three hits and a takeaway to go with it. The biggest thing the Rangers need to improve on is getting shots on the net. They only got 23 shots on the cage the in the game. If the Devils get better goaltending, that may not be enough to win a game. If they play as the did on defense again though, it will be more than enough. The Rangers only had seven takeaways, but they blocked 23 shots on the night. This allowed Igor Shesterkin to have a great night.
Igor played great, and the Rangers fans in attendance made sure he knew it, chanting his name. He saved 27 of 28 shots he faced on the night, finishing with a .964 save percentage on the night. It was the third-highest save percentage of his playoff career. Each time he has been this high in save percentage, the Rangers have gotten a win. When he lets in one or fewer goals, the Rangers have gone 3-1 in those playoff games. If he keeps up this performance, they will win.
Why The Devils Could Cover The Spread
The Devils can score. They were fourth in the NHL in scoring this year at 3.52 goals per game, which is third among teams in the playoffs. The Devils have excelled at getting shots on the net. Their 2,821 shots on goal rank fourth in the NHL. While firing on goal, they limited the other team. With only 2,315 shots faced on the year. Devils goalies faced the 5th least amount of shots in the year. Most of that did not happen in the game against the Rangers. They did not get shots on the net, getting only 28 shots on goal, while seeing 23 of their shots blocked. They did not do well on the power play, going 0-4. The Devils were able to limit the Rangers' shots, but that was not enough.
Hughes led the teams in both points and goals this year. He was on an eight-game points streak to end the year and continued that against the Rangers. He scored on a penalty shot to get the Devils their only goal of the night. Still, he needs to get in better shooting lanes. He saw multiple shots blocked, and also gave away the puck and team-leading five times. One major victim of the Rangers' shot-blocking expedition was Nico Hischier, but he was still getting into good scoring positions. He was able to get five shots on the net but did not score.
Vitek Vanecek was 8th in the NHL with 2.45 goals per game. He was 15th with a .911 save percentage as well. He was none of that against the Rangers. Vanecek saved just 18 of 22 shots he faced, for a .818 save percentage. Sadly, this is not the worst playoff performance of his career, as he let in five goals on 19 shots last year against Florida. In three playoff starts in his career, he only has one win, and only one game over a .850 save percentage. If the Devils are going to win a game, he must be better.
Final Rangers-Devils Prediction & Pick
It would be easy to overreact to the first game of the series. The Rangers played nearly perfectly and got a much-deserved win. Vanecek was awful, and Shesterkin was great. The Rangers were blocking a ton of shots and took advantage of the power play. That will not happen again. The Devils are going to score more, and Hischier will get one in if he shoots like this again. It will be a close game though, and the Rangers should be able to cover.
Final Rangers-Devils Prediction & Pick: Rangers +1.5 (-230) and Over 5.5 (-115)