After the drama of Game 7 on Saturday, the New York Rangers are back in the fight just two days later against Atlantic division rivals New Jersey. The Devils have had 3 days longer to prepare and will be looking to exploit any tired legs in the Rangers ranks. With the advantage of four games at MSG, New York start as favourites to win at 1.52. New Jersey are back at 2.35.
Of course, these two clubs know each other very well; playing in the same division, they met 6 times during the regular season and managed 3 wins each. That familiarity creates a rivalry and animosity that will hopefully make this series a really entertaining physical battle.
In the last round, New Jersey showed they can handle a talented offensive team. The Rangers aren't as free-scoring as Philadelphia, but they do possess many gifted players, and head coach John Tortorella couples that talent with a gritty work ethic.
The Devils are also a well drilled team, especially on the penalty kill which has been the best in the league this season. Continuing that would be extremely valuable at this stage of the postseason. When you consided their attacking talent - Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise amongst others - you have a team with the potency to beat anybody.
Similarly to the series odds, New York begin tonight as favourites at 2.10. A quick start carrying through from Saturday could be key to them. New Jersey start back at 3.15, which is good value when home ice advantage has so often been toppled during these 2012 playoffs.
Best Bet: New Jersey Devils to win in regulation at 3.15.