Henrik Lundqvist is so often a factor in games involving the New York Rangers and Game 1 of their Eastern Conference final series against the New Jersey Devils was no exception. Yes the Rangers were the slightly better team and deserved the win, but Lundqvist produced some huge stops and gave the Devils shooters nothing. Taking that game has seen their odds of winning the series reduced to 1.27 whilst NJ dropped to 3.50, going 2-0 up may be definitive.
Not that one loss would be enough to shake their confidence, but the Devils will know they could easily have taken the lead within the first 40 minutes considering the chances they managed to create. That said, getting the puck to the net more often will be first on their list of adjustments ahead of tonight and created sustained periods of pressure.
After a tense first game the series should open up a bit for more goals, there is good value on New York scoring more than 2.5 goals at 1.92 and also New Jersey managing more than 1.5 at 1.52.
To odds on tonight's outcome and the Rangers are good value at 2.20, they will bring that same aggressive approach on the forecheck and I expect them to come out on top again. Obviously the Devils will come out strong but I can't help but question the ability of Martin Brodeur to outplay Lundqvist when it really counts.
Best Bet: New York Rangers to win in regulation at 2.20.