In what has already become one of the nastiest series of the Stanley Cup Playoffs so far this year, the New York Rangers and Ottawa Senators prepare for a shift of action to Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, for Game 3 of a 7-game Eastern Conference quarterfinal showdown. With the series knotted up, injuries piling up, and undoubtedly plenty more drama to come from tonight’s game, this is one great NHL hockey showdown you won’t want to miss out on for online sportsbook betting at one of the best online sportsbooks reviewed here.
The Ottawa Senators were able to squeak out of New York on Saturday with a well-deserved win against the Rangers, albeit with a key injury that may affect their ability to compete at the top of their offensive game. Daniel Alfredsson, the Sens captain, stands at risk of missing Game 3 with a possible concussion suffered at the hands of New York rookie Carl Hagelin, who’s errant elbow to Alfredsson’s head was worthy of a 3-game suspension from the league. The Rangers will likely be just fine with trading a rookie for the Senators’ most veteran player, but you can expect that Ottawa will once more be looking for payback in a series that has already seen some of the most brutal fights and hits during this Stanley Cup playoff run. For Ottawa without their captain, all eyes will be fixed on the handful of other capable scorers, including Jason Spezza, Milan Michalek and defensemen Erik Karlsson, who will be tasked with providing firepower against the league’s top goaltender, New York’s Henrik Lunqvist. Karlsson nabbed the game-winner in Saturday’s showdown to even the series heading back to Ottawa, and for the Sens tonight they’ll need another step-up performance in order to get past a Rangers squad that is certain to fight hard to regain control in the series.
Stopping the Rangers power play is essential for the Senators tonight, especially with the amount of penalty minutes likely to be coming in this game between two teams that clearly have no love whatsoever for one another. New York hasn’t had too much success with the man advantage, capitalizing just 12.5 percent of the time so far in the 2 games with Ottawa. Though the power play hasn’t ever been New York’s strong suit this year (ranking 23rd in the league at 15.7 percent on the season), the Senators will have to pay even more attention to the Rangers in this aspect of the game, as it’s the area that John Tortorella’s squad will look to improve upon first and foremost. Ryan Callahan, the Rangers’ captain, will be an important figure in tonight’s game, as he has led New York during the regular season with 13 power play goals, and has already had a bit of scoring success in this series with Ottawa. Leading goal scorer Marian Gaborik also should be primed for taking plenty of shots on goal this evening, as he too has been exception on the power play, with 10 of his 41 goals on the season coming via the man advantage. New York does seem to have a size advantage against the Senators, who have relied on their impressive speed to hamper the Rangers on defense, so it will be crucial for New York to put themselves in front of net, work the puck around the offensive zone, and put plenty of shots on goal. Through two games, the stats lines have been incredibly equal, with shots on goal, takeaway, faceoffs and hits all registering just about the same for both teams, so finding an advantage with the power play will be a huge factor for one team or another tonight.
While the Rangers have the size advantage, and will look to play physical, hard-hitting hockey in Game 3 tonight, look for the Ottawa Senators to utilize their impressive attacking speed once more, and work around New York’s big defenders including Brian Boyle, Michael Del Zotto and Ryan McDonagh. With McDonagh a possible scratch for tonight’s contest, Ottawa could have a major advantage on the attack, as the Rangers would most certainly miss the presence of one of their top defensemen. Ottawa needs to avoid becoming too caught up in chippy behavior, as eventually New York’s physicality will get the better of them, and should focus on moving the puck quickly into the zone, and getting as many shots as possible on Hank Lundqvist. There’s little question that after giving up 3 goals on Saturday, Lundqvist is going to stand on his head in Game 3, and give little opportunity for mistakes to find the back of the net. Therefore Ottawa must create good scoring looks via good puck distribution, and catch Lundqvist shifting back and forth across the crease. The Rangers are exceptional on the penalty kill, and don’t lose focus when back on defense, so without a consistent attack on offense from the Ottawa skaters, New York will be able to push forward themselves and keep the puck down on the Senators end. A New York team with time in the offensive zone is a New York team that will inevitably score on you, and the Senators will find that playing a pressing offense may be their best form of defense tonight.
Betting Lines for the New York Rangers vs. Ottawa Senators at Oddsmaker Sportsbook
The Rangers head into Game 3 as a slight favorite on the road, with -120 odds to win against Even money straight up on the Senators. New York split the 2 games on the road at Ottawa this season, but with all bets and trends from the regular season off for the Stanley Cup playoffs, this game will fall to the team that can capitalize on their opponent’s mistakes, and avoid giving up the costly, late goal.
Against the spread, New York sits on a -1.5 goal advantage, getting +250 odds of beating Ottawa by two goals. Ottawa is a slight underdog with 1.5 goals to play with, at -300 odds, indicating that there is a very high likelihood of these two teams ending up within 1 goal of each other.
On the over/under for total goals, 5 is the mark set at Oddsmaker Sportsbook. Considering that Henrik Lundqvist will put all his efforts into stopping any shots sent his way, and Craig Anderson, Ottawa’s goalie, will be looking to have an equally strong performance at home (where he’s not been as great this season, going 14-11 with a 3.01 GAA), this betting line may come down to how few shots Lundqvist lets through, as its likely that New York will be set to bounce back this evening.
In a tight showdown between two teams that simply can’t stand one another, the team that avoids the most penalties and is able to generate the most shots on goal will prevail in this contest. Expect a hard-hitting, exciting hockey game between these two Eastern Conference rivals, and expect the options for online sportsbook betting on this Game 3 showdown to provide you with plenty of opportunities for cashing in on what is certain to be one of the best sporting events to check out on Monday night.