The Hudson River rivalry is back with the New Jersey Devils taking on the New York Rangers in the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Devils have home ice advantage in the first series in the playoffs between these two teams since the 2012 Eastern Conference Final, which the Devils won in six games. Below is a look at the odds for the series for both teams.
The Devils finished the season just shy of the Metropolitan Division title, one point off of the Carolina Hurricanes. New Jersey had made the postseason just once since 2012, the last Stanley Cup appearance for the franchise. The team looks completely different, led by Jack Hughes, who finished with the most points in a single season by any Devils player, breaking Patrik Elias’ record (96). The Devils got great goaltending from Vitek Vanecek and Dougie Hamilton is likely to be Norris Trophy finalist. New Jersey has as good a shot as any to make a run through the playoffs.
The Rangers were expected to finish toward the top of the division and did so despite being third place. New York made it to the Eastern Conference Final last season and lost in Game 7 to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Many believed the Rangers to be favored to make it back. Things have changed. The Rangers still have a shot with goalie Igor Shesterkin and after the acquisitions of Patrick Kane and Vladimir Tarasenko.
2023 NHL Playoffs: Devils vs. Rangers odds
I’m bias but in a tight series, the Rangers probably have the advantage. Home ice won’t matter since Rangers fans will flood Prudential Center in Newark anyway. One should expect this series to go deep (6-7 games). With the Rangers getting the juice right now and underdogs, that’s the lean despite the bias. That may change and then you’d shift over to New Jersey. The Devils are the better team just lack playoff experience. The Rangers can also muddy up the series a bit more and lose later in the playoffs.