WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – The New York Rangers will take on the New Jersey Devils in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals at Madison Square Garden tonight with the series tied at 2-2.
The Rangers won Games 1 and 3 while the Devils took Games 2 and 4. On Monday, New Jersey came out firing, scored two quick goals and shut down New York in a 4-1 win to even the series. Now, the Rangers, who have not lost consecutive games since Games 4 and 5 of the first round, look to regain their edge in this series.
The goaltending of Henrik Lundqvist has kept the Rangers in the series and Pelham Memorial High School hockey coach Ed Witz thinks Lundqvist will take them to victory.
“I think it’s Rangers in seven,” Witz said. “I’m kind of surprised that (Devils goalie Martin) Brodeur is playing as well as he’s playing, standing up to it. I think the difference is going to be the goaltending.”
Witz thinks the Rangers will win Wednesday to take a 3-2 series lead and then lose in New Jersey on Friday before claiming the series on Sunday.
The Rangers won both games in this series in which they scored three goals but lost the two in which they scored less than three. And while the Rangers’ strength is in their defense, Witz does not think that the Rangers have trouble scoring.
“I think it’s just the nature of the playoffs. They’re just playing all out,” Witz said. “It’s hard to score a goal when you’ve got great team defense on both sides you’ve got to penetrate…then you’ve got to beat a world-class goalie.”
Witz said that players who are used to scoring purely with individual talent might not be able to do so in the playoffs.
The game starts at 8:00 p.m. on NBC Sports Network.