Really nothing to play for but pride on Thursday night from Newark as both the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils are having disappointing seasons that will result in missing the playoffs. The Devils are home NHL lines favorites.
Rangers vs Devils NHL Spread & Expert Pick
- When: Thursday, 7 PM ET
- Where: Prudential Center
- TV: NHL Center Ice
- Live Stream: NHL.tv
- Radio: TuneIn
- NHL Spread: New Jersey Devils -145 / New York Rangers +125 (Total 6)
Impossibly, almost, this is the first meeting of the season between the neighbors. Last year, the Devils took three of four. The last meeting was late in the regular season, with New Jersey prevailing 5-2 at home. Taylor Hall and then-rookie Will Butcher scored two goals apiece, and the Devils scored three times in the opening 10:40. Keith Kinkaid had 25 saves. Ryan Spooner and Kevin Hayes scored for the Rangers. Henrik Lundqvist made 39 saves.
Why Bet on NY Rangers?
New York had a three-game winning streak snapped in a 1-0 home loss to the Flyers on Tuesday as they couldn’t solve Anthony Stolarz. Stolarz, out since Dec. 15 while recovering from a lower-body injury, got his first shutout since Dec. 11, 2016, at Detroit in his second NHL start.
Alexandar Georgiev stopped 18 of 19 shots in the loss. Georgiev’s night started with Oskar Lindblom getting to a loose puck after a scramble in front just 100 seconds into the game, but New York’s goaltender went perfect the rest of the way. Georgiev is now 6-9-0 with a 3.28 goals-against-average and a .897 save percentage.
One bright spot was center Kevin Hayes back on the ice. It marked Hayes’ return from a nine-game absence due to an upper-body injury. The 26-year-old center finished with a game-high six shots on goal in just under 22 minutes of ice-time. Hayes posted a career-high nine-game point streak from Dec. 8 – Dec. 29 (five goals, 11 assists), and he became the first Ranger to tally at least 15 points over an eight-game span since Jaromir Jagr in 2005-06.
Neal Pionk (lower body) also returned to action on Tuesday. Pionk missed three straight games. He had a shot, hit, and block in 15:54 minutes of ice time. Brett Howden sustained a knee injury during Tuesday’s game. Rangers coach David Quinn suggested that Howden will be out for at least “a little while.” Howden has four goals and 15 points in 48 games in 2018-19.
Probably be Henrik Lundqvist in net here. He’s 4 saves away from passing John Vanbiesbrouck (22,203) for sole possession of eighth place on the NHL’s all-time saves list, and 8 wins away from tying Curtis Joseph for fifth place on the NHL’s all-time wins list (454).
New York has won a game when allowing the first goal in 11 different contests this season. The Rangers are tied for sixth in the NHL in wins when allowing the game’s first goal in 2018-19.
Why Bet on New Jersey?
The Devils snapped a three-game skid with a 6-3 upset in Pittsburgh on Monday. The NHL’s worst road team improved to 6-17-3 away from home. Two of those wins have come at the expense of Pittsburgh. New Jersey has routed Pittsburgh in each of their three meetings this season, outscoring the Penguins 15-5 in the process.
Travis Zajac picked up a goal and three assists in Monday’s win. Zajac opened the scoring at the 13:08 mark of the first period when he beat Pens goalie Matt Murray with a wrister from the slot. The Devils forward also helped set up goals by Damon Severson (2-0), Blake Coleman (4-1) and Kyle Palmieri (5-1). Zajac finished the night with a plus-3 rating, one shot on goal and one blocked shot in 19:34 of ice time. The 33-year-old now has 12 goals and 31 points in 48 games this season. The last Devils player to have at least one goal and three assists in a road game against the Penguins was Kirk Muller, who had two goals and three assists vs. Pittsburgh back on December 31st, 1988 at the Civic Arena.
Blake Coleman picked up a goal and an assist. The 27-year-old has picked up nine points in his last eight games. He has 18 goals and 29 points in 49 games this season. Pavel Zacha scored a goal and an assist. Zacha registered an assist on Brian Boyle’s shorthanded goal in the second frame and he added a power-play goal in the third period. The 21-year-old has eight goals and 13 points in 44 games this season.
Brian Boyle scored a shorthanded goal. Boyle finished the night with one shot on goal, three hits and three blocked shots in 13:11 of ice time. He also won 67 percent of his faceoffs. The 34-year-old has 13 goals and 18 points in 44 games this season.
Keith Kinkaid turned aside 37 of 40 shots. The victory put an end to Kinkaid’s personal four-game losing streak. The 29-year-old now has 14-14-6 record with a 3.10 goals-against-average and a .900 save percentage this season.
New Jersey remains without superstar Taylor Hall, last year’s Hart Trophy winner. The Devils aren’t at the point yet where they’re thinking about shutting him down for the season. Hall has missed 14 games so far and given that he’s not yet skating regularly he’s not close to returning.
Devils coach John Hynes did at least make it clear though that they haven’t reached the point where they’re talking about Hall being done for the season. “At this time, we have had no discussions of that,” Hynes said. Hall has 11 goals and 37 points in 33 games this season.
Rangers vs Devils NHL Betting Trends
- Over is 6-0-2 in the last 8 meetings in New Jersey
- Home team is 9-2 in the last 11 meetings
- NY is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games on the road
- NY is 8-17 SU in its last 25 games on the road
- The total has gone OVER in 15 of NY Rangers’ last 23 games
- New Jersey is 2-6 ATS in its last 8 games
- New Jersey is 3-6 SU in its last 9 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 5 of New Jersey’s last 7 games
Expert NHL Betting Prediction for Rangers vs Devils
Devils win 3-2.