Rangers at Bruins Picks and Game 5 NHL Odds
by Alan Matthews - 5/25/2013
I really don't like the New York sports teams. But in a way, wouldn't it be fitting for the New York Rangers to be able to rally from what was a 3-0 deficit in their Eastern Conference semifinals series against the Boston Bruins? Of course, the 2004 Boston Red Sox made baseball history by becoming the first MLB team to rally from a 3-0 deficit, stunning the New York Yankees on the way to the World Series title.
Are the Bruins nervous after losing Game 4 with a chance to finish the sweep and get some rest before facing Pittsburgh (I'm presuming Pens finish off Ottawa) in the East Finals? Probably not. However, the Rangers might have some confidence considering that they know Boston blew a 3-0 series lead (and 3-0 advantage in Game 7) in the East semifinals three years ago against the Philadelphia Flyers. Those Bruins were the third team in NHL history to lose a series after winning the first three games. In addition, the B's haven't proven able to close things out. They also blew a 3-1 lead in the first round against Toronto and needed a miracle third-period rally to win Game 7 in overtime. New York trailed in the first round 2-0 and 3-2 but rallied past the Capitals.
Game 5 of Rangers-Bruins is Saturday at 5:30 ET and televised on the NBC Sports Network. Before the season I liked a Rangers-Blackhawks Stanley Cup Finals. Both could be eliminated on Saturday.
Rangers at Bruins Betting Story Lines
New York extended its season with a 4-3 overtime victory on Thursday thanks to Chris Kreider's goal 7:03 into the extra session. Kreider is a playoff stud with six career postseason goals and three game-winners. The big news was the Rangers had a power-play goal for the first time in this series. Boston blew a 2-0 first-period lead and 3-2 advantage midway through the third. It was only Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist's fourth OT playoff win in 15 tries.
Will Rangers coach John Tortorella bring Brad Richards back into the lineup? In the summer of 2011, Richards was the prize free agent on the market and signed a nine-year, $60 million deal with New York. He won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2004 with Tampa Bay when Tortorella was the coach. However, Torts made Richards a healthy scratch in Game 4. He has just one goal in 10 postseason games this year and is minus-3. Richards had been demoted to the fourth line since Game 6 of the first round series and played just 8:10 in Game 3. It was a bold decision by Tortorella considering Richards is an alternate captain.
Expect Richards to be an amnesty buyout this offseason with the salary cap dropping almost $6 million. Bovada has a funny prop asking who will be under contract for Game 1 of next season with New York: Tortorella and Richards (+350), just the coach (+500), just Richards (+175) or neither (even money). I'd put my money just on Torts. He unveiled a new fourth line of Kris Newbury, Micheal Haley and Derek Dorsett in Game 4 (veteran Arron Asham also was scratched). Kreider moved from the fourth line to the second.
One positive for Boston was a goal by Tyler Seguin. It was his first in 16 games dating back to the regular season. The B's also had two power-play goals in Game 4, a good sign. One of them was from rookie defenseman Torey Krug. He has three goals and an assist and only made his playoff debut in Game 1 of this series.
It's possible that Boston could get defenseman Dennis Seidenberg back for Game 5. He has been out since Game 7 against the Maple Leafs with a lower-body injury but almost played in Game 4. He averaged more than 21 minutes of ice time against the Leafs and had an assist. During the season, Seidenberg had four goals and 13 assists.
Rangers at Bruins NHL Game 5 Betting Odds and Key Trends
At BookMaker, Boston is -155 and New York +135 with the total at 5. The Rangers are 1-3-2 over/under on road this postseason. They have one win as a dog, taking Game 7 in Washington. The Bruins are 3-1-2 “over/under” at home in playoffs.
Boston is 0-7 in its past seven Saturday games. New York is 9-4 in its past 13 playing on one day of rest. The under is 3-1-4 in New York's past eight following a win. The under is 9-2-1 in Boston's past 12 Saturday games. The home team has won five of the past seven meetings. The under is 8-2-2 in the past 12 in Boston.
Rangers at Bruins Picks and Game 5 Betting Predictions
Boston was the better team in Game, 4 and it essentially took a fluke goal thanks to a stumbling Tuukka Rask to get the Rangers going on their comeback. Boston also made several mistakes it usually doesn't, like a too many men on the ice penalty. In their past 13 chances to close out a series, the Bruins have won just twice. I think that trend ends Saturday -- it better, because then that blown series against the Flyers will start to creep into the heads of the remaining players from that team. Take the under.
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