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Senators Rangers Betting – Rangers Brace For Senators’ Team That Had Their Number During Season

Posted by Don Melrose on 6/5/2014 3:59:00 AM

After narrowly missing out on the chance to clinch their first President’s trophy since the 1993-94 season, the New York Rangers now face the prospect of getting back on track against a team they struggled against during the regular season following consecutive losses to close out the year. The Rangers finished just one point ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins for first place in the Eastern conference and locked up home-ice advantage, but will now be matched up against an Ottawa Senators’ team that took three of four regular season meetings between these teams, which will be no easy test for the online betting favorites.

The Senators were one of the surprise teams in the NHL this season, rebounding from a 26th place finish a year ago to lock down a playoff spot even despite struggling down the stretch. Ottawa enters the postseason on a mini slide of their own on the heels of three-straight losses, and a 4-6-0 record over their past 10 games doesn’t have many of the betting sites experts predicting an upset in this series. However, the Senators do have some top-tier offensive talent in the form of Jason Spezza, Milan Michalek, and captain Daniel Alfredsson, as well as rookie defenseman Erik Karlsson. Karlsson is a lock to win the Calder trophy as the league’s top rookie and is also a legitimate Norris trophy candidate because of his overwhelming offensive numbers. Karlsson led all blueliners with 19 goals and 59 assists, and should be excited for the chance to perform on the biggest stage of them all.

Unfortunately for Ottawa, the Rangers have a top young offensive defenseman of their own in Michael Del Zotto, three lines that can contribute offensively, and arguably the best goaltender in the game right now in Henrik Lundqvist. Lundqvist stood on his head for New York once again this season, and the result was a career-high 39 wins, a .930 save percentage, and in incredible 1.93 goals against average. By contrast, Craig Anderson recorded a .914 and 2.83 goals against average during the regular season, and will need to step up his play big time to give his team a chance.

One of the most interesting storylines heading in to this game will be how well Brad Richards performs for the Rangers. The most coveted free agent available on the market, Richards decided to join New York this past offseason, and this is where his value will really be judged. Despite finishing with just 25 goals and 41 assists in 82 games, Richards is a former Conn Smythe winner who won a Stanley Cup with the Tampa Bay Lightning, and his experience and big-game play will be crucial to the Rangers’ success.

While the majority of sports betting fans won’t give Ottawa a shot, this series should be closer than most people expect, with the Senators giving New York a good test in the opening round. In the end, the Rangers’ goaltending and forward depth will be the difference in a tight-checking series, with the top team from the Eastern conference advancing in six games.

NHL Betting Pick: Rangers in Six

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