Stanley Cup Eastern Conference Finals showdown between the New York Rangers and
the New Jersey Devils heads back to the Prudential Center this Friday night for
a crucial Game 6 in the latest iteration of Hudson River hostility.
Rangers once again find themselves on
New York has
already been in the position of having to win two straight games to avoid
elimination and come through in its first-round matchup against Ottawa. It will
now have to duplicate that effort, starting with a victory on Friday night to
keep its hopes of returning to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since
In order to
get the job done against a very aggressive Devils’ attack, the Rangers are
going to have to avoid a slow start like the one that led to a 0-3 hole in Game 5 and that, despite a valiant come-from-behind effort, resulted in a 5-3 loss as 132 home favorites. The problem is, New Jersey appears to be one step
faster than New York and Rangers’ goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who has been a
rock through his first 17 postseason games, suddenly looks very beatable in giving up seven goals in his last two outings.
Devils decide to turn up the heat
was evenly matched throughout the first three games, but New Jersey has been able
to find a higher gear than their opponent in Games 4 and 5. The Devils have
scored nine goals (two empty netters) and have taken the early lead in both
contests with five combined goals in the first period alone. New Jersey has
been outshot 58 to 46 in the last two games, but has been able to create better
scoring opportunities that have made its shots count.
force behind the Devils’ offensive explosion in this series has been its cast of sharpshooters, including Zach Parise, Travis Zajac, and Ilya Kovalchuk.
These three have accounted for half of the team’s goals in this series. The
other reason for New Jersey’s 3-2 edge has been Martin Brodeur. He may be
40 years old, but the veteran netminder has been able to turn back the clock with
a 2.01 goals-against-average and .923 save percentage through the first five
games of this series.
are 1-4 in their last five games on one day’s rest and 1-6 in their last seven
games after giving up five or more goals in their previous outing. The total
has gone 3-9-9 in their last 21 games.
are 11-5 in their last 16 games following a win and 5-1 in their last six home
games. The total has gone 1-3-2 in their last six games.
New York is
now 4-6 in the last 10 meetings overall and is 1-3 in its last four games in
New Jersey. The total went OVER in Wednesday’s Game 5 for the first time in
this series and has now gone OVER just twice in the last six meetings.
New Jersey has the Rangers on the ropes and fully
knows its chances to win this series will greatly diminish if it has to play a
Game 7 in New York. Stick with the Devils to get the job done with their
third-straight win on Friday night.
Jersey 3 New York 2