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Game 3 – Montreal Canadiens vs. N.Y. Rangers NHL Playoff Betting Predictions & Preview

Canadiens vs Rangers Hockey Odds

The New York Rangers and Montreal Canadiens will head over to New York as the Eastern Conference Final shifts to Madison Square Garden on Thursday.

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The Rangers have taken a commanding 2-0 lead heading back home, and have a significant edge with Canadiens goaltender Carey Price out for the remainder of the series.

Eastern Conference Final Game 3
NYR leads 2-0
Montreal Canadiens (8-5) at New York Rangers (10-6)
Date: Thursday, May 22, 2014
Time: 8:00 PM ET
Venue: Madison Square Garden
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City: New York, New York
O/U Odds: 5
Money Line: New York -172, Montreal +158

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The Rangers’ domination of the early part of this series is right in line with the way their last series ended. After falling behind the Penguins 3-1 in their Eastern Conference semifinal series, the Rangers rang off three consecutive wins to advance, preventing the Penguins from scoring multiple goals in any of those contests.

Looking back at their last five games, all wins, the Rangers have outscored their opponents 20-6. Much of the credit for that goes to Henrik Lundqvist, as the Rangers were outshot in three of those games, and he faced 32 or more shots in four of them, including a whopping 41 shots in Game 2.

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Lundqvist was expected to star alongside Carey Price in this series, but it’s been a one-man show thus far. Even while he was in goal for the Habs, Price allowed four goals in two periods of play to all but sink the Canadiens.
Third-stringer Dustin Tokarski has only 11 career NHL games under his belt, but the Canadiens have shown that they trust him, giving him the nod in big games Price was forced to miss during the regular season. Now the team is hoping that Tokarski will reward their faith in him.

Just as concerning has been the play of Thomas Vanek, who has run hot and cold in these playoffs. He’s chosen a really bad time to get cold. He was dropped down to the team’s fourth line at Wednesday’s practice, playing alongside Daniel Briere and Brandon Prust. Head coach Michel Therrien said not to set that line in stone, so he could just be trying to wake Vanek up.

It’s hard to imagine the Canadiens winning another game in this series given the situation. This could have been a very fun series to watch with Lundqvist and Price going at it, but with Price out, this series promises to be very one-sided the rest of the way.

Additionally, expect to see the Canadiens rally around Tokarski in hopes of protecting their young netminder. The Canadiens know they can’t allow many goals if they’re going to beat the Rangers and Henrik Lundqvist, and that should mean a more defensive approach in Game 3.

The Rangers are 5-0 in their last five games overall, while the Canadiens are 0-4 in their last four conference finals games.

The under is 8-1-2 in the last 11 meetings between these teams, and it is 17-7-3 in the Rangers’ last 27 home games.

The play: New York -172, Under 5


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