New York Rangers (45-31-6) at Montreal Canadiens (46-28-8)
|Date & Time||Saturday May 17, 2014, 1:00 PM (EDT)|
|Location||Unknown Location Unknown Address|
The Line: Montreal Canadiens -122 / New York Rangers +111 --- Over/Under: 5
The New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens will play game one of the Eastern Conference Finals on Saturday afternoon. The Canadiens won the season series, 2-1.
The Rangers have knocked off the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins to get to this spot, winning both series in seven games. Goalie Henrik Lundqvist has taken his game to another level, allowing two or less goals in seven of his last eight games. The Rangers are 7-3 in the playoffs when allowing three or less goals. Offensively, the Rangers are really playing like a team as six players have at least three goals during the postseason. The Rangers have also scored three power play goals in as many games. The New York Rangers are 29-17-1-1 on the road this season.
The Canadiens have sent home the Tampa Bay Lightning and Boston Bruins to get to this spot. Goalie Carey Price has been a little inconsistent in the playoffs, allowing three or more goals five times this postseason. Of course, Price faced a total of 234 shots against the Bruins in seven games. Still, the Canadiens are 7-1 in the playoffs when allowing three or less goals. P.K. Subban has racked up 12 points in the playoffs and five Canadiens have at least four goals during the postseason. The Montreal Canadiens are 27-13-4-2 on their home ice this season.
The Rangers are 4-1 in their last 5 games playing on 3 or more days rest and 27-13 in their last 40 road games. The Canadiens are 4-1 in their last 5 games playing on 2 days rest and 1-4 in their last 5 Conference Finals games. The home team is 21-8 in the last 29 meetings between these two teams and the Rangers are 1-9 in the last 10 meetings in Montreal.
I like the Rangers in this spot. Not only have the Rangers had an extra day off, but they are also one of the best road teams in all of hockey. Lundqvist is simply playing at another level right now and the Rangers offense has upped their level of play as well. Give me the hotter team with the plus money, please.