New York Rangers at New Jersey Devils

 

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

The Rangers will travel to New Jersey to face their rival on Thursday night in the Devils. Both the Rangers and the Devils have played poorly this season but both teams are loaded with young talent and exciting players. With both teams near the bottom of the standings in the East Division, the losses can start to pile up, making this game all the more important to win for both teams.

Rangers offensive woes have been their downfall

The Rangers have won only 8 of their first 20 games this season and have struggled in particular on the offensive side this season. Chris Kreider is the leading goal scorer with 10 goals and Pavel Buchnevich and Ryan Strome have 6 goals each, but the young promising skaters like Kappo Kakko and Alex Lafreniere have failed to make an impact this season (combining for only 5 goals this season).

While the offense has struggled, the defense has kept the Rangers in many of their games, allowing only 2.6 goals per game. The pairing of Adam Fox and Ryan Lindgren has been exceptional this year, combining for 3 defensive point shares and 67 blocked shots while K’Andre Miller and Jacob Trouba have given the Rangers depth as they have combined for 1.9 defensive point shares and 57 blocked shots. In addition, starting goaltender Igor Shesterkin has continued to improve, allowing only 2.4 goals per game and posting a .917 save percentage.

Devils young core is carrying team

The Devils are a young team with many of their key contributors 23 or even younger. The best player defensively has been Ty Smith with the 20-year-old leading the team with 1 defensive point share and 12 blocked shots while Mackenzie Blackwood has led the way in net as the 24-year-old is allowing only 2.5 goals in the 10 games he has started.

In addition, the offense has been led by 19-year-old Jack Hughes who has 4 goals and 8 assists this season. On the offensive side, Miles Wood and Pavel Zacha have made a major impact on the offense with the two combining for 13 goals this season. Unfortunately, the rest of the offense has struggled this season, with the team only scoring 2.5 goals per game.

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:

The Devils have hit a wall and lost their last three games. However, those three losses came against the Washington Capitals (twice) and the New York Islanders, two of the best teams in the division. The Devils offense should be able to come to life in this game with Jack Hughes potentially netting a goal on an odd-man rush or PK Subban, who has been rather silent this season, hitting a shot in from the point. Likewise, the Devils defense, led by Ty Smith and Damon Severson, should be able to take advantage of a struggling Rangers offense. The Devils give great odds as a home team and should be able to win this game.

Prediction:
Devils (+100)

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Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:

This game features two teams that are struggling on the offensive end and also playing well defensively. While the expectation is for either of these teams to break out of their scoring slump, the defenses are going to have a field day in this game. The Rangers defense with K’Andre Miller and Adam Fox should be able to limit the Devils offense and only allow the rare goal from Jack Hughes or Pavel Zacha. Likewise, the Devils defense, led by Ty Smith should be able to constantly eliminate the Rangers defense, potentially shutting them out.

Prediction:
Under 5.5