This article is part of our NHL Picks series.
Stanley Cup Bets for April 29: Expert NHL Picks and Props for Devils vs. Rangers
The New Jersey Devils return to Madison Square Garden on Saturday night for Game 6 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series against the New York Rangers. Puck drop is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET, and the game can be viewed either on ABC or ESPN+.
The Rangers went to New Jersey for the first two games, recording back-to-back 5-1 victories. This looked like it could be a short series. The Devils had other ideas, however, rattling off three straight wins, including two victories at MSG in Games 3 and 4. Last time out, in Game 5, rookie Akira Schmid stopped all 23 shots he faced for his first NHL postseason shutout, and second overall shutout.
Head coach Lindy Ruff switched gears, benching Vitek Vanecek after he was knocked around in the first two games by the Rangers. Schmid has posted a 3-0 record with a sparkling 0.63 GAA and .976 SV% in the past three games, going from forgotten rookie to legend in the span of a week.
The Rangers will stick with Igor Shesterkin despite three straight losses, and really it hasn't been his fault that the team lost three in a row. Shesterkin has done his part in this series, going 2-3 despite a sensational 1.75 GAA and .938 SV% in the five games so far. New York has backed him with just two goals of offensive support in the three-game losing streak, however.
For the Blueshirts, Adam Fox has managed six assists in the five games, including three helpers on the power play. But Vladimir Tarasenko has been silent since scoring in each of the first two wins, going scoreless with a minus-2 rating in the past three. Mika Zibanejad has also been held without a goal, while posting just two assists, including zero points in the past two games. Artemi Panarin is without a point in four straight games, while turning in a minus-3 rating. That simply won't do.
On the flip side, the Devils have some tremendous balanced scoring, as six players have tallied three or more points. Erik Haula actually leads the team with three goals and five points, including a pair of power-play goals, two of the three scored in this series.
Haula and Jack Hughes lead the team with three goals apiece in these playoffs, too, and Hughes can ticked off 21 shots on goal, or 4.2 per contest. While Dawson Mercer has just a goal and an assist, the helper is on the power play, and the goal was a shorthanded marker in Game 5. He had been scoreless in the first four games.
The Devils are 6-2 in the past eight games when working on a day of rest, while going 30-12 in the past 42 on the road. While the Rangers are 0-4 in the past four games at MSG, they are 5-2 in the past seven in the Conference Quarterfinals round.
These teams have taken the circuitous route to get here, but I think the Rangers saddle the rookie Schmid with his first loss, and force this series back to Newark for a decisive Game 7. The only thing that concerns me is that the public has been hammering New York, too.
NHL Money Line Bets for Devils vs. Rangers
- Rangers ML (-121 at BetRivers)
The Over cashed in the first two installments in this series, barely, as we had six goals in each of those games with a total of 5.5. In the previous three games, the Under has cashed three times, with the Rangers tallying just two goals, and the Devils managing just nine total goals during the span.
The Under is 5-2 in the past seven games in the Conference Quarterfinals round for the Devils, and Schmid has been a friend of Under bettors in the past three, with just two goals allowed.
The Under is 7-2 in the past nine games overall for the Rangers dating back to the regular season, while going 9-2-1 in the past 12 games when playing on a day of rest. The Under is also 4-0 in their past four skates at MSG.
NHL Totals Bets for Devils vs. Rangers
- Under 5.5 (-120 at BetMGM)
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NHL Player Props for Devils vs. Rangers
Looking to the NHL player props for Game 6, there are a couple of strong values on both sides of the ice.
For the Rangers, defenseman Jacob Trouba has recorded 14 blocked shots in the first five games, including exactly three blocks in the first four outings in this series. He is a value play at plus-money to record at least three blocked shots in Game 6, as he is not afraid to pay the price and do whatever it takes to help his tendy.
- Jacob Trouba Over 2.5 Blocked Shots (+130 at BetMGM)
No one has been hot on the New York offense lately, but Chris Kreider has recorded at least one point in four of the five games, while posting four power-play goals and five total markers with six points in the series to date. If anyone is going to back Shesterkin with offensive support, Kreider is at the top of the list. At plus-money as an anytime goal scorer, he is a solid value.
- Chris Kreider Anytime Goal Scorer (+160 at BetMGM)