The New York Rangers are coming off consecutive losses following three straight wins to open the season. They should feel confident about bouncing back at home on Sunday night.
The Rangers early season momentum came to a sudden halt with back-to-back losses to the Winnipeg Jets and Montreal Canadiens but they have a chance to get back on track with three straight and six of their next seven games on home ice.
Meanwhile, the Devils have gone winless through their first four games with only a single point to show for them and the schedule isn’t about to get any easier with three of their next four games away from home.
Projected Starting Goalies
Cory Schneider certainly hasn’t been the problem for New Jersey, as he has posted a 1.97 goals against average and .938 save percentage in his two starts this season. Schneider is expected to be back between the pipes for the Devils on Sunday and their best chance to win this game will hinge on whether he can put together a stellar performance and steal them at least a point.
Meanwhile, the Rangers could give backup Antti Raanta his first start of the year but are more likely to turn back to veteran Henrik Lundqvist. Lundqvist has posted a 2.21 goals against average and .933 save percentage through his first five starts and after a couple of nights off it wouldn’t be a surprise if he got the start. He’s the one you want to see if you’re betting the Rangers on the NHL odds.
What’s The Pick?
The Rangers are set to host one of the league’s four remaining winless teams in the New Jersey Devils on Sunday afternoon and there is every reason to think they can get their early season back on track. New York is built to contend for the Stanley Cup once again while the Devils could very well be on pace to finish near the bottom of the Eastern Conference once again in 2015-16. That sets up a very lopsided matchup on paper and there is no doubt the visiting team will be in tough as they try and steal at least a point on the road.
New Jersey has a quality young goaltender in Schneider and a defense core that is filled with intriguing young pieces but they will likely struggle to score goals up once again this season and rely far too heavily on their netminder to try and steal points. That might happen some nights but is less likely on Sunday when the Devils face a New York team that has set its sights on top spot in the Eastern Conference once again this year. The Rangers have a ton of firepower up front with Rick Nash, Mats Zuccarello, Derek Stepan and rising stars like Oscar Lindberg and JT Miller, so there is more than enough offense to compliment a stingy defensive unit in front of Lundqvist. New York followed up three straight wins with back-to-back losses to a pair of pretty good teams in Winnipeg and Montreal, but they should have no problem getting back on track in front of a packed house at Madison Square Garden on Sunday. Lay the puckline here for your NHL picks.
NHL Pick: New York -1.5 at Bodog