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Game 1 Flyers vs. Rangers NHL Playoff Betting Predictions & Preview

Flyers vs Rangers Hockey Odds

The Philadelphia Flyers will make the trip out to Madison Square Garden to open their first-round playoff series with the New York Rangers on Thursday.

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First-round Game 1
Philadelphia Flyers (42-30-10) at New York Rangers (45-31-6)
Date: Thursday, April 17, 2014
Time: 7:00 PM ET
Venue: Madison Square Garden
City: New York, New York
O/U Odds: 5
Money Line: New York -141, Philadelphia +130

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Home-ice advantage will play a major role in this series, as the home side won each of the four meetings between these teams during the regular season. The teams will be meeting in the postseason for the first time since 1997.

The Flyers go into this one shorthanded, as they will be without starting goaltender Steve Mason in this contest, as he recovers from an upper-body injury, which could keep him out of Game 2 as well. That will mean that the net will be filled by Ray Emery. The Flyers shouldn’t experience too much of a drop off. Mason posted a .923 even-strength save percentage during the regular year, while Emery’s was just a hair less at .920.

Emery has also been strong when facing the Rangers in his career. In 10 games against them, Emery is 7-2-0 with a pair of shutouts, a 1.87 GAA, and a .936 save percentage.

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At the other end of the ice will be Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. Lundqvist is known for struggling out of the gate, but this year’s start was especially troublesome, with many wondering if he was distracted by the upcoming 2014 Sochi Olympics.

Lundqvist answered his doubters by going into the break strong, allowing two or fewer goals in 10 of 11 starts heading into the Olympic break, posting a 9-2-0 record in those contests, then winning a silver medal for Sweden. Now, Lundqvist is in fine form and ready to lead the Rangers on a long playoff run.
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Lundqvist is a notorious slow starter, but this time of year is when he is really on his game, and given that they are playing on the road, goals should be hard to come by for the Flyers in this one. The Rangers definitely hold an edge with this game being played on their home ice, but Emery should hold his own, as he has a strong playoff pedigree, and has fared well in his career against the Rangers.

Don’t expect the Rangers’ defensive corps to come back rusty from the extended break either. The under is 8-1-1 in their last 10 games following a break of three days or more.

The Flyers are 0-8 in their last 8 trips to New York, while the Rangers are 13-4 in the last 17 meetings between these teams. The Flyers are also just 1-7 in their last eight games against opponents with a winning record.

The under is 6-0-1 in the Rangers’ last seven games against Eastern Conference opponents, and 15-5-3 in their last 23 home games.

The play: New York -141, Under 5

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