The New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils meet Thursday in game 5 of the NHL East First Round Playoffs at the Prudential Center. Let’s preview this game and give out a pick and prediction.
The New York Rangers are averaging 3 goals per game and are scoring on 22.2 percent of their power play opportunities. Chris Kreider leads New York with 5 goals, Adam Fox has 6 assists, and Patrick Kane has 14 shots on goal. Defensively, the New York Rangers are allowing 1.75 goals per game and are killing 84.6 percent of their opponent’s power plays. Igor Shesterkin has allowed 6 goals on 102 shots faced.
The New Jersey Devils are averaging 1.75 goals per game and are scoring on 15.4 percent of their power play opportunities. Jack Hughes leads New Jersey with 3 goals, Jesper Bratt has 3 assists and Timo Meier has 15 shots on goal. Defensively, the New Jersey Devils are allowing 3 goals per game and are killing 77.8 percent of their opponent’s power plays. Vitek Vanecek has allowed 9 goals on 52 shots faced, and Akira Schmid has given up 2 goals on 59 shots.
The Rangers are 5-2 in their last 7 Conference Quarterfinals games and 4-1 in their last 5 road games. The Devils are 5-2 in their last 7 home games and 5-1 in their last 6 games playing on 2 days rest. The under is 6-2 in Rangers last 8 overall. The over is 4-0 in Devils last 4 home games. The Rangers are 8-3 in the last 11 meetings in New Jersey. The road team is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings. The underdog is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings.
The New York Rangers are probably still the better, more trustworthy team, and they've had the upper hand in past meetings, especially in New Jersey. However, the Devils have new life after back to back wins and Akira Schmid has changed things around in net. Anything can happen in this pivotal game 5, but home ice and a pick em price, I'll take a shot with the hot Devils.