Game 6 at the World's Most Famous Arena
The Rangers host the Canadiens tonight at Madison Square Garden in New York with the opening face-off coming at 8:05 PM ET. This will be Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference Playoff series in which the Rangers hold a 3-2 lead.
According to NHL betting odds, the Rangers are a -180 money line home favorite and the posted total is 5.0. These teams have seen just 2 of their previous 14 meetings go 'over' the total, and none of the last 5 played at Madison Square Garden have surpassed the number.
Down, but Not Out
The Montreal Canadians showed a plethora of heart, character, and resiliency in Tuesday's Game 5. Down 3-1 in the series, the Canadiens came through with a spirited 7-4 win to stave off elimination, and force a Game 6 back in New York. The most impressive part of Tuesday's win may have been how well Montreal responded when encompassing some nerve-racking adversity. After opening up what seemed to be a comfortable 4-1 lead in the 2nd period, they allowed the Rangers to score 3 consecutive goals in a fairly quick manner, which enabled them to tie the game at 4-4. The Canadians scored 3 unanswered goals to come away victorious, and keep their Stanley Cup aspirations alive.
Rene Bourque was the star of the game for Montreal scoring 3-goals in recording his first career playoff hat trick. Heading into tonight the Canadiens have gone a solid 5-3 on the road in the postseason.
Taking Advantage of Home Ice
It's been well-documented how good the Rangers have been on the road this season. Unfortunately, playing on home ice hasn't produced the same type of success. The Rangers have gone a head scratching 25-25 at Madison Square Garden this year, including just 5-4 in the postseason. "The Blue Shirts" have to figure out a way to get it done tonight, in order to avoid a deciding Game 7 at Montreal on Saturday.
Rangers Flirt with Stanley Cup Lore
With a win tonight, the Rangers would advance to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1994. That Rangers' team led by Hall of Fame inductee Mark Messier, won the prized trophy in a series that was culminated by a thrilling Game 7 win at Madison Square Garden over the Vancouver Canucks. This Rangers team advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals by going the full 7-games in the first 2 rounds. They will be looking to be the first team in NHL history to win a Conference Finals series after going the full 7-games in the previous 2 rounds.
The high scoring affair in Game 5 at Montreal was a real rarity between these teams. It was just the second time that a game had gone 'over' the total in the last 14 meetings between these clubs. It certainly didn't alter the NHL betting odds, as the books kept the total at 5.0, and rightfully so. The general public seems to think that wagering on the 'over' is nothing short of stealing according to the betting trends on the total in this game. I look for both teams to tighten up defensively tonight, and the recent trend of low scoring games between these teams return to form.
Free NHL Pick: Bet Canadiens/Rangers to go 'under' the total of 5.0 for tonight's NHL pick.