Montreal Canadiens (46-28-8) at New York Rangers (45-31-6)
|Date & Time||Thursday May 22, 2014, 8:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: New York Rangers -169 / Montreal Canadiens +154 --- Over/Under: 5
NBCSN, CBC, RDS
The New York Rangers will look to take a commanding 3-0 lead over the Montreal Canadiens with a victory Thursday night in the Eastern Conference finals.
It’s quite clear the Canadiens are going to miss goalie Carey Price, who was ruled out for the remainder of the playoffs due to an injury. Rookie Dustin Tokarski took over in game two, and while he played better than expected, he still allowed three goals and looked rattled at times. The Canadiens have now lost four straight playoff games when allowing three or more goals. Offensively, the Canadiens have scored just three goals in this series and P.K. Subban has zero goals and assists in his last four games. Max Pacioretty, however, scored a goal in the game two loss and now has three goals in his last four games. The Montreal Canadiens are 27-17-2-1 on the road this season.
The Rangers are simply going to go as far as goalie Henrik Lundqvist carries them, as he saved 40 of 41 shots in game two. Lundqvist is easily the best goalie left in the playoffs, and he’s allowed two or less goals in nine of his last 10 starts. With that type of production much offense isn’t needed, but Martin St. Louis has still scored three goals and racked up two assists in his last five games. Even Rick Nash is finding his groove, as he’s scored his first two playoff goals in this series. The Rangers are 17-1 in their last 18 games when soring three or more goals. The New York Rangers are also 24-20-2-2 on their home ice.
The Canadiens are 10-4 in their last 14 road games and 0-4 in their last 4 Conference Finals games. The Rangers are 1-5 in their last 6 home games following a road trip of 7 or more days and 4-0 in their last 4 games following a win. The road team is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings.
Anything under -200 is great value in my eyes, as the Canadiens are done without Price in the net. The Rangers not only have the best remaining goalie, but they're also playing with terrific confidence on the offensive end. When you add the fact Montreal has a young kid as its goalie, this will be another Rangers win and they'll go for the sweep on Sunday.