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Rangers vs. Devils Expert Pick and Prediction – April 18, 2023

Rangers vs. Devils Expert Pick and Prediction – April 18, 2023

RANGERS VS. DEVILS EXPERT PICK AND PREDICTION - APRIL 18, 2023 - The Battle of the Hudson River happens in the playoffs for the first time since 2012, and it’s the Devils who are looking to prove they belong here. New Jersey emerged victorious 11 years ago, but it has only made one trip to the playoffs since then and hasn’t won a series since beating the Rangers in 2012.

On paper, the matchup with New York puts New Jersey in a good spot, as the Devils won three of the four meetings with the Rangers this season. But only one of those games was decided by more than one goal, and only one has taken place since the Rangers added playoff veteran Patrick Kane to the lineup. And Kane’s far from the only Blueshirt with playoff pedigree, as New York made an Eastern Conference Finals appearance last season before losing to Tampa Bay.

These are teams that know each other well and play tight battles, which often leads to a goaltender stealing a game. That’s a problem for the Devils, because in Igor Shesterkin, the Rangers have one of the best goaltenders in the game. 

Click here to read more analysis from Dan.

The Odds






New York Rangers

(47-22-13 SU,
42-40 PL)





New Jersey Devils

(52-22-8 SU, 42-40 PL)





Puck Drop

When: Tuesday, April 18th at 7 pm EST

Where: Prudential Center, Newark, N.J.

Public Bets: 56% on New York

Public Money: 66% on New York

Odds courtesy of DraftKings, as of April 17th, 2023

New York vs. New Jersey In-Season Trends

Oddly, the team that starts best in this matchup usually doesn’t get the job done.

In four meetings, one team has started by jumping out to a 2-0 lead, only to watch it disappear and turn into a defeat. New Jersey did hold the lead last time, scoring two first-period goals and hanging on for a 2-1 lead, marking the third straight game decided by one goal.

Even though the goaltenders have played solidly this season, the offenses have ruled this matchup over the past several seasons.

The OVER has cashed in 20 of 27 meetings with one push, and it’s hit in 15 of 22 at the Prudential Center with two pushes. The quality of Shesterkin and Vitek Vanecek gets priced into the matchup, which leaves the total fairly low by NHL standards, even though both teams keep beating it.

Players to Watch

Jack Hughes had his breakout season this year with 43 goals and 56 assists, and he’s got to find space against a physical Rangers team that’s sure to focus on him.

The Devils are far from a one-man show, but they get the second line change at home, and they’re going to try to keep Hughes away from the Rangers’ top line as often as possible.

New York’s goal will be to try to get on the power play and let Shesterkin do the rest. The Rangers are at their most effective with the man advantage, with defenseman Adam Fox notching 28 of his 60 assists this season on the power play.

The Devils don’t take many penalties, and that’s critical given that the Rangers score on 24.1% of their power plays. Both teams kill penalties well, so Fox is going to have to take advantage of whatever chances he gets to find space with the power play.

The Pick

In this matchup, defenses get stronger as the game develops. In the early going, the offenses carry the day, as nine of the past 11 meetings have seen two goals or more scored in the first 20 minutes.

Over the rest of the game, it’s tough to go against Shesterkin and New York’s playoff experience. The Devils haven’t yet seen what it takes to win at this level, and it’s likely that they get a reality check in this game before stepping up their play in Game 2. 

This doesn’t look like it’s going to be a rout of a series. Someone’s going to win a game on the road at least once and probably more, and the Rangers look like they’ve got a good shot to do it here.

Dan's Pick

Rangers ML (+110)

Under 6

Over 1.5 First Period

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