Detroit Red Wings vs. New York Rangers - 12/6/14 NHL Pick, Odds, and Prediction
New York Rangers (11-9-4) at Detroit Red Wings (15-6-5)
NHL Hockey: Saturday, December 6, 2014 at 7:00 pm (Joe Louis Arena)
The Line: Detroit Red Wings -145 / New York Rangers +132 --- Over/Under: 5 See the Latest Odds
The New York Rangers have to be absolutely thrilled that they won’t be seeing the Tampa Bay Lightning any more this season. The two teams have met three times over the last few weeks with the Lightning taking all three contests, including a 6-3 victory this past Monday night at Madison Square Garden. Despite the score it was actually the best that the Rangers played against Tampa Bay in all of the meetings. Martin St. Louis scored a power play goal midway through the second period to give New York a 3-2 lead, but the wheels fell off the wagon after that. Tampa would tie the game before the end of the period and then a weak slashing call on St. Louis early in the third led to the Lightning taking the lead. They would add another goal and then one short handed with the empty net to finish things off. At this point in the year it looks like the Lightning are one of the best teams in the league, so it’s not terrible to lose some games to them. The problem for the Rangers is that the Lightning are playing the type of game this season that the Rangers played last year and that they’ve struggled to get back to. St. Louis has scored 10 goals already this year and Rick Nash is off to a fantastic start, but the defense and goaltending have been completely mediocre. For years now the Rangers have relied on the defense corps and Henrik Lundqvist and both of those things have been lackluster at best to start the season. The offense has played well but the Rangers have to get back to the type of hockey that has made them successful in recent years. Saturday night’s match up with a potent Detroit Red Wings club that has been playing some excellent hockey is going to pose a real challenge for them.
Detroit enters the game off a 5-2 drubbing of the Dallas Stars on Thursday night. The Red Wings came out flying in this one, getting an early goal from Darren Helm to take a 1-0 lead. Dallas would come right back just 15 seconds later, but goals by Stephen Weiss and Pavel Datsyuk gave them a two goal advantage entering the second period. The Stars would get within one heading into the third but by Kyle Quincey and Helm added third period markers to finish off the scoring. Jimmy Howard stopped 22 of the 24 shots he faced on the night to pick up his 12th victory of the season. It was the fifth win in the last games for the Red Wings who are 15-6-5 to start the season and are four points behind the Lightning for first place in the Atlantic Division. With a mostly healthy roster this year it’s easy to see how good this team can be in the Eastern Conference with Mike Babcock leading the way. Last year was a real challenge for this organization but with the transition now over and bodies back in the lineup it looks like this is going to be a recipe for success moving forward for the Wings.
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New York has been off since Monday night and is in the midst of a schedule where they play just four games in 12 days. It has been a lot of inconsistent hockey but when the Rangers are on their game they’re still a very dangerous hockey team. Detroit has been playing well all season long and this should be a fun game with a lot of skill and skating on display.