Metropolitan Division Rivals in Heated Race
The New York Rangers are back nipping at the heels of the New Jersey Devils in the quest for home-ice advantage for at least the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Both teams have clinched playoff spots.
With three straight wins, New York is just two points behind New Jersey going into the final regular-season matchup between the teams. Both teams have eight games left to play. The Devils do have two more regulation or overtime wins so the Rangers would need to end up with more points to finish ahead of the Devils in the playoff seeding.
Each of the last two games between the teams headed into overtime and don’t be surprised to see this turn into another tight affair.
The Rangers had played in three straight one-goal affairs before rolling past the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday. New Jersey is 1-2-1 over the last four games and is coming off a 5-1 loss to the New York Islanders, so keep that in mind when making NHL picks.
When looking at some of the NHL news, defenseman Ryan Lindgren continues to be sidelined for the Rangers. He has missed 14 of the last 15 games. For the Devils, forward Nathan Bastian was back at practice as both he and Curtis Lazar are getting close to returning to action.
According to the NHL playoff odds, the Rangers and Devils both come in at +1200 in the odds to win the Stanley Cup title.
Lighting the Lamp
The New York Rangers had high hopes when making trades for proven goal scorers Vladimir Tarasenko and Patrick Kane.
Tuesday’s win marked the first time that they had goals in the same game as Rangers. Tarasenko failed to score in his previous four games before breaking through against the Blue Jackets while Kane scored for the second game in a row and had what proved to be the game-winning goal.
— x – New York Rangers (@NYRangers) March 29, 2023
With the way that Mika Zibanejad and Artemi Panarin are producing and with the play of the “Kid Line” of Alexis Lafreniere, Filip Chytil and Kappo Kaako, getting Taransenko and Kane going would be huge for the Rangers heading into the postseason.
The NHL betting lines total has gone under in four of the last five games against teams from the Metropolitan Division for the Rangers.
Devils Struggling a Bit
New Jersey is in the playoffs for the first time since the 2017-18 season.
New Jersey finished with 28, 19 and 27 wins over the last two seasons. There is a chance that the Devils could have more than 28 road wins.
One concern is that the Devils are 2-4-2 over the last eight games. The Devils have been outscored 28-22 in those games.
Struggles on the power play have played a role in the recent tailspin.
The Devils have scored three times on the last 19 power-play opportunities and have allowed two short-handed goals during that time. It doesn’t help that the Rangers have killed off 95% of the opposing power plays during that stretch.
The NHL odds has gone under in 15 of the Devils’ last 19 home games against the Rangers.
Rangers vs Devils Game Injuries
Rangers vs Devils Head-to-Head
Since an eight-game winning streak in the series by the Rangers, the teams have traded wins over the last five meetings.
Both teams have recorded 4-3 wins at home this season, with Damon Severson scoring in overtime for New Jersey in the Jan. 7 win and Filip Chytil’s overtime goal for the Rangers on Dec. 12 snapping New Jersey’s 11-game road winning streak.
The home team has won five of the last seven meetings with seven of the last nine games between the division rivals finishing over the total.
Rangers vs Devils Game Information
- Game: Rangers (44-20-10) vs Devils (46-20-8)
- Location: Prudential Center, Newark, NJ
- Day/Time: Thursday, March 30, 7:00 p.m. ET
- Rangers vs Devils Live stream: NHL.TV
Rangers vs Devils Betting Lines
Rangers vs Devils Picks and Prediction
Unless one of these teams comes on strong and moves past first-place Carolina in the Metropolitan Division standings, these teams are set to meet in the first round of the playoffs. Will the final meeting of the regular season between the teams have the feel of a postseason game?
Among Eastern Conference teams, only the Boston Bruins have a better goal differential than the Rangers (+53) and Devils (+51), so these are two teams that want to keep playing deep into the playoffs.
There has been an average of six combined power plays in the first three meetings of the season so what will it look like on Thursday?
The Rangers are 22-14 against the spread on the road. The Devils have covered in just 14 of their 37 home games.
The Devils are 32-20-4 when listed by the sportsbook as the favorite. New York is 10-9-5 as the underdog.
The New York Rangers are listed at +115 in our Las Vegas hockey odds. This means that if you wager $100 on the Rangers, you have a chance to win $115. New Jersey is -135, offering a chance to win $74 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives the New York Rangers a 46.51% chance to win, with the New Jersey Devils at 57.45%