Rangers @ Devils, 8:00 ET, Game 6
#1 New York Rangers @ #6 New Jersey Devils
Game 6… 8:00 ET… TV: NBC Sports Network, CBC
Series: 3-2 Devils
Players to watch:
NYR- Brad Richards
NYR- Brad Richards
Richards was a beast against Washington but has been neutralized by the Devils here in Round 3. He just has three points, all assists, in five games thus far. The Rangers need Richards, a former Conn Smythe winner, to rise to the occasion in this one.
NJ- Zach Parise
Parise has boosted his free agent stock even more (if possible) this postseason. And in the last two games he has five points. He’s been a big-time all-around player for the Devils, and they need him to be that player again tonight.
Projected starting goaltenders:
NYR- Henrik Lundqvist (Playoff stats: 10-9, 1.77 GAA)
NJ- Martin Brodeur (Playoff stats: 11-5, 2.04 GAA)
NYR- Michael Sauer (concussion, out)
NJ- Henrik Tallinder (leg, out)
John Tortorella’s Rangers battled back from a 3-0 deficit in Game 5 to tie things up, only to see the Devils win the game late with goals from Ryan Carter and Zach Parise. The 5-3 win put the Devils on top 3-2 in the series to move the Rangers to the brink of elimination. This isn’t the first time the Blueshirts have played in such circumstances. In the first round they clawed back from a 3-2 series deficit against Ottawa; then they won Game 7 against Washington two weeks later. They’ll have to rekindle some of that magic if they wish to stay alive.
If the Rangers wish to see another day, they must get off to a good start unlike the duration of this series. Going into tonight’s game, New Jersey holds a 6-1 first-period scoring edge. Further, the Rangers spotted the Devils a 3-0 lead in the first 10 minutes of Wednesday’s contest.
On the other side of the puck, Peter DeBoer’s Devils will need Brodeur to continue his stellar play. He hasn’t been dominant in this series (neither has Lundqvist), but he has come through in the clutch and has played his way into the Conn Smythe discussion. A winning performance from Brodeur tonight would propel the Devils to their fifth Cup final appearance since 1995.
This series has not lacked drama one bit and seems destined to go seven. While it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Devils pounce on the weary Rangers to wrap up this series, I have a hunch Tortorella’s gang will push this series the distance.
Prediction: Rangers 2, Devils 1 (OT)
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