Bruins at Rangers Picks and Game 3 NHL Odds
by Trevor Whenham - 5/21/2013
The Rangers return home with their backs firmly planted against the wall. They lost the opener of this conference semifinal series in overtime and then got blown out in Game 2. A 3-0 hole in a series isn’t technically insurmountable. However, against a team as good and as confident as the Bruins are right now, it would be pretty close to fatal.
Strangely, the scores weren’t really a good indicator of what has happened in this series. Boston needed overtime to win the opening game 3-2, but they were dominant throughout much of the game and probably should have won the game more easily than they did. The second game ended 5-2, but the Rangers had more good scoring chances and just couldn’t find a way to get the puck in the net. In a lot of ways, then, the Rangers actually played better and looked better in the game they lost badly than the one they almost won.
Bruins at Rangers Betting storylines
History is actually not on the side of the Rangers in this series. They have been down 0-2 to start a series 21 times in their long history. They have managed to come back to win just two of those series. One of those times actually came in the first round this year against Washington, but that may not be a good thing, either — no team in the entire history of the league has lost the first two games of two series in a row and come back to win both of them.
We knew heading into this series that goaltending was going to be a big story, and indeed it has been. Henrik Lundqvist is an established elite goalie, and Tuukka Rask has shown he is the same as well. Both are supported by excellent defensive corps and disciplined teams. In the second game, though, only one goalie did his job. Rask was brilliant. He made 35 saves and robbed New York forwards of sure goals at least three times. He was fully on his game and was the biggest reason the Bruins won.
Lundqvist, on the other hand, was, uncharacteristically, a liability. He allowed five goals on 32 shots. The game was tied at two at the halfway point, but then it was as if the goalie lost his focus and let his mind wander. He allowed three goals, and two of them were soft. It was the first time in 151 games that Lundqvist had allowed five goals in a game. He had played Boston 31 times before and had never allowed more than three goals. Goaltending is such a crucial factor in the playoffs, and so much of the success is mental. On that front the Bruins have the clear edge coming into this game.
The biggest concern for the Bruins at this point has to be their mental strength. Up 3-1 in their series against the Leafs, they had a chance to clinch but lost, 2-1, twice in a row. They had to play the seventh game in the series at home the day after their second loss. A plane malfunction forced them to stay in Toronto that night, though, and they traveled on game day for the first time all year. They got into a big hole in the deciding game before launching an improbable and emotional comeback. Then they headed into this series and have enjoyed early success. That has all added up to a stressful and emotional 10-day stretch. Teams often have lulls in their playoff performances because of stress and strain, and at some point the Bruins are going to face that reality.
Bruins at Rangers NHL Game 3 Odds and Betting Trends
The home team has won four of the last five meetings between these squads. The “over” is 3-0-1 in the last four meetings. Boston is just 3-12 in their last 15 games in New York. The Rangers are 4-0 in their last four home games against opponents with a winning road record.
Bruins at Rangers Picks and NHL Game 3 Predictions
The Bruins are going to win this series, but the play here is the Rangers. New York is comfortable at home, and they are going to be playing with intensity and desperation. Lundqvist was a serious concern last game, but he typically bounces back well, and he has had success against the Bruins. Boston won’t have the loud home crowd to drive them on in this one and could take a step back in intensity. New York has an edge, and the price here is fair.
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