Game 1 – N.Y. Rangers vs. Montreal Canadiens NHL Playoff Betting Predictions & Preview

Rangers vs Penguins Hockey Odds

The Montreal Canadiens host the New York Rangers on Saturday afternoon in the opening game of the Eastern Conference Final at the Bell Centre in Quebec. The Canadiens are coming off a big Game 7 win in their semifinal series with the Bruins, while the Rangers beat the Penguins in seven games after beating the Flyers in seven games.

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Eastern Conference Final Game 1
New York Rangers (8-6) at Montreal Canadiens (8-3)
Date: Saturday, May 17, 2014
Time: 1:00 PM ET
Venue: Bell Centre
In Canada? Try Pinnacle
City: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
O/U Odds: 5
Money Line: Montreal -120, New York +111
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This Original 6 matchup will be headlined by a pair of the best goaltenders in the NHL, as Carey Price and Henrik Lundqvist meet again, having squared off against one another in the gold medal game at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. It was Price’s Canadian side prevailing over Lundqvist and team Sweden, and the Canuck surely hopes for a similar outcome in this one.

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Price has been a major difference-maker for the Canadiens in the postseason, sporting a 2.15 GAA and a .926 save percentage, going 8-3 with a shutout in the postseason. He came up big in the biggest moments for the team, stopping 55 of 56 shots in Games 6 and 7 against the Bruins.
Lundqvist showed up in the clutch moments of the conference semifinals as well, stopping 105 of 108 shots in Games 5, 6, and 7. He is tied for the league lead with a .931 save percentage, and ranks second with a 1.99 GAA.

Lundqvist hasn’t enjoyed his trips to the Bell Centre, though. In his career, he is 4-5-2 with a 3.87 GAA and .876 save percentage there, though he hasn’t made a trip out to Quebec since Jan. 15, 2012. The teams met three times this past season, with those three games producing a total of three goals.

Both teams come into this game with flaws, but the Rangers are better suited to exploit the Canadiens’ weaknesses in this game. Montreal has the apparent benefit of playing this game at home, but the reality is the team has been better on the road, rather than when they play in front of their daunting home crowd. The Rangers should hold an edge in getting out in front in this series.

Additionally, series openers typically lean towards the over, but the two all-world goaltenders will look to put their stamp on this series with monster performances in the opener. As the teams attempt to feel one another out in this one, scoring chances could be few and far between, while the rested goaltenders are the ones left to put on a show.

The Rangers are 27-13 in their last 40 road games, while the Canadiens are 1-4 in their last five conference final games.

The under is 7-0-2 in the last nine meetings between these teams, and 6-0-2 in the last eight meetings between these teams in Montreal.

The play: New York +111, Under 5

By Gino Bottero

Gino is new to but NOT new to the online gambling industry.He's got an AMAZING knack for discovering hidden gems when it comes to betting on sports. Stick with him as he predicts when a team will have a letdown! Check Gino out for NBA, NHL, NFL, and MLB betting articles all season long!