Game 1:Rangers v Canadiens – NHL Betting Preview
New York Rangers (+114) at Montreal Canadiens (-126)
EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS – SERIES BEGINS MAT 17TH
Not many thought we would see an Eastern Conference finals matchup of the New York Rangers and the Montreal Canadiens. It’s hard to believe one of these low seeds will be playing in the Stanley Cup Finals. The opening prices to reach the finals are comparatively narrow; for the Rangers to win the series it is -102 and -118 for the Canadiens.
Montreal got here by sweeping the Lightning and then beating the Bruins in a brutal seven game series, winning the seventh game on the road. New York got here by winning two seven games series in a row, including coming back from a 3-games-to-1 deficit against Pittsburgh. Both teams are riding tremendous momentum and perhaps feel they are a team of destiny. These teams have to feel confident as they are 6-0 this post season when facing elimination.
New York have demonstrated a great defense so far in these playoffs; shutting down high powered offenses in the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins. Pittsbrugh was ranked #1 in the power play in the regular season, but went 1-20 against New York. The Rangers will have to continue this defense against the likes of Thomas Vanek and PK Subban. While Vanek leads Montreal with five playoff goals, Subban has been the teams’ best player. The Canadiens' defenseman not only has 12 playoff points this post-season, he has shown he has ice in his veins in clutch situations. Subban was mercilessly booed in Boston, however, he seemed to thrive of the hatred. The Rangers will look for a heavy dose of Brad Richards. The Rangers’ center leads the team this post-season in points (9) and goals (4). Look for Martin St. Louis to also play big for New York. The Rangers’ right-winger leads has five playoff assists so far and will look to set up Richards.
This will sound like a broken record, but at the end of the day, this series come down to the goal-tending. Canadiens' goalie Carey Price has had an unbelievable year. Not only has he won the Gold Medal for Canada, but he has shown brilliance for the Canadiens. He shut-out the Bruins in a must-win Game 6 and will pose problems for New York. Henrik Lundqvist , however, is at a different level. Down 3-games-to-1, Lundqvist only allowed three goals in the finals three games against the Penguins. New York’s goalie stopped over 100 shots in those three wins. New York may not have the home ice, but they have the advantage in this series. They will try to steal Game 1 on the road on Saturday where the opening money lines have them at +114 and the Habs at -125.
* Betting lines mentioned in this article are subject to change due to time sensitivity. Please visit the sports betting lines for up to date odds.
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