Devils at Rangers: What bettors need to know
New Jersey Devils at New York Rangers (-130, 4.5)THE STORY:
Henrik Lundqvist's sensational season has him up for the Vezina Trophy - and if he wins, he may want to invite his defense corps to the podium. Lundqvist and a host of New York shot blockers look to take a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference finals as the Rangers welcome the New Jersey Devils to Madison Square Garden. Lundqvist turned aside all 21 shots he faced in the series-opening 3-0 win, while New York skaters blocked another 26 attempts as the Rangers prevailed in their first conference finals game since 1997.
8 p.m. ET, NBCS, CBCABOUT THE DEVILS:
It would have been understandable had New Jersey netminder Martin Brodeur forgotten who was tending goal at the other end of the ice. ''From my view I saw him about 10 minutes because there were so many Rangers players in front of him,'' he joked following the Game 1 loss. New Jersey sniper Ilya Kovalchuk suggested he and his teammates need to be better at faking shots to freeze Ranger defenders, then take advantage of whatever openings they can generate. Of course, they still have to solve Lundqvist. ''He played pretty well,'' Brodeur conceded.ABOUT THE RANGERS:
New York may have been full value for Monday's victory, but not everyone was satisfied with how the club played. ''We've got to be better," said Rangers captain Ryan Callahan. "We know that. We've got areas in the game that we need to improve on and we need to work on. We'll be ready for (Wednesday)." The power play provided reason for optimism, scoring once in four opportunities against the top penalty killing unit in modern-day NHL history. The Rangers also dominated at the face-off dot, winning 59 percent of the draws.TRENDS:
- Home team is 4-0 in the last four meetings.
- Under is 6-0-3 in the Rangers' last nine playoff games as a favorite.
- The Devils are 17-8 in their last 25 games as a road underdog.OVERTIME:
1. Lundqvist has yet to allow more than three goals in any game this postseason.
2. Monday's loss marked the first time in four games the Devils failed to score a power-play goal.
3. The home team has won the last four head-to-head meetings.