The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs are here! There are just 16 teams left standing in contention for Lord Stanley’s Cup. Things will get started on Monday night with four games, with the other four series starting on Thursday.
Over the next few days, we’ll preview each series with a look at each team’s path to victory, picks, predictions, and best bets. Let’s keep it going with the Rangers vs. Devils series preview!
New York Rangers vs. New Jersey Devils: Series Schedule
New Jersey Devils (M2) vs. New York Rangers (M3)
Tue., April 18: Rangers at Devils, 7 p.m. ET, TBS, SN360, TVAS2
Thu., April 20: Rangers at Devils, 7:30 p.m. ET, TBS, SN360, TVAS
Sat., April 22: Devils at Rangers, 8 p.m. ET, ABC, ESPN+, SN1, City, TVAS
Mon., April 24: Devils at Rangers, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN, SN360, TVAS
Thur., April 27: Rangers at Devils, TBA
Sat., April 29: Devils at Rangers, TBA
Mon., May 1: Rangers at Devils, TBA
New York Rangers vs. New Jersey Devils: Path to Victory
New York Rangers
Two words, one name: Igor Shesterkin. If the Rangers are going to get past the Devils in the first round, it will be due to goaltending and playoff experience.
The Rangers weathered the storm last year with two seven-game series victories before falling to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Final. This year, they’re back and better than ever, with Vincent Trocheck replacing Ryan Strome in the offseason and deadline additions Vladimir Tarasenko and Patrick Kane providing some scoring depth.
The kids are also one year older and could hold the keys to victory for the Blueshirts.
New Jersey Devils
The Devils must keep doing what they’ve been doing all season long. They’ve continued to silence the critics and came just a point shy of the Metropolitan Division title. Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier are looking to make some noise in their first playoff appearance, and they’re the favorites in this series for a reason.
Rangers vs. Devils: Picks, Predictions, & Best Bets
Over 5.5 games (-167 via Unibet)
This is one of the closest series on the board, and I can’t see it being decided in under six games. In fact, over 6.5 games (+220) are worth a sprinkle as well.
Both the Devils and Rangers are more than capable of winning two games in this series. That’s a given. It will come down to a best of three between these two rivals.
Games to go to overtime: 2 (+260) / 3 (+750)
Two of the four meetings between these two teams went to overtime in the regular season. The Rangers played past regulation twice in last year’s first round, including the Game 7 thriller. So I’ll gladly take +260 that two of these six or seven games will go to overtime.
Follow Ryan Gilbert on Twitter (@RGilbertSOP)