New York Rangers @ Detroit Red Wings – Joe Louis Arena at 23:00

My final NHL Handicap Betting preview to close off the week is another Original Six duel. Detroit host NY Rangers and come into this Sunday evening contest last in the Atlantic Division. On the other hand the Rangers are having another consistent season under their belt with a 43-23-2 record.

Lundqvist out for 2-3 weeks

Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist will be out for two to three weeks with a lower body injury. The veteran missed New York’s most recent game – a 4-3 defeat to Carolina on Thursday and have called up Magnus Hellberg to act as backup for Antti Raanta. Although Lundqvist’s had a down season by his lofty standards he became the first goalie in NHL history to record 30 wins in 11 of his first 12 seasons. Additionally, the Olympic gold medallist recorded his 404th win in the league. That moves him to 10th all time in the NHL.

As for the Rangers’ current predicament they still find themselves in fourth position in the Metropolitan. The recent setback against the Hurricanes now leaves them four points adrift of third-placed Pittsburgh. Tonight’s game will be the final match of their four-game Eastern road trip. The picked up two wins prior to their defeat by the Canes. They’ll want to end it successfully to keep up their chase on the leading trio in the Metropolitan.

Statistically speaking J.T. Miller leads the Rangers in points (49). Both Michael Grabner and Chris Kreider lead the franchise with 26 goals apiece.

Streak coming to an end in Hockeytown

It has been a miserable season for the Detroit Red Wings. Barring a remarkable run of form until the end of the regular season, they will not make the playoffs for the first time in 27 years. All good things must come to an end, nevertheless this has been dreadful for Detroit. They have been sluggish for most of this campaign as the members of their last successful era are in their twilight years. The Swedish trio of Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen and Niklas Kronwall alongside Darren Helm are the sole members of Detroit’s Stanley Cup win 9 years ago. Dan Cleary is still with the organisation – playing for affiliate Grand Rapids Griffins. The latter two played depth roles for the Red Wings in the playoffs that year. Zetterberg who now captains the side won the Conn Smythe that year with 27 points in 22 post season appearances.

 

Fast forward to the present day and Zetterberg is still productive in the Motor City. He leads Detroit with 55 points in 66 games. In spite of this it also replicates the fundamental problem for Detroit that they do not/still have a heir to the throne to take over from the 36-year old.

Prediction

New York have won three of their last five meetings against Detroit. Whereas the sides have won one game each in the series this season. The value on the Rangers to defeat the Red Wings in regulation is very good at 2.40, -0.5 on the Asian Handicap market. I expect to see them bounce back and carry on their pursuit of the leading pack.

Handicap Betting Recommendation: New York Rangers -0.5 at 2.40 (excluding OT)

Prices correct at time of writing

By @The_Drewse

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