It is rivalry night on NBCSN on Wednesday, as the New York Islanders visit the New York Rangers. The Islanders are in a fight simply to make the playoffs, while the Rangers are almost assuredly going to land in the top Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. The Rangers have not played well at home of late, but they will still be listed as home favorites in this contest. The Islanders have won 7 of the last 10 in this series, including two of three this season.
At 8 p.m. ET, tune into NBCSN for live television coverage of this NHL game on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at Madison Square Garden.
We'll have NHL odds at BookMaker.eu available for this and every game on the NHL Wednesday schedule.
The good news for the Islanders is that they will have had three days off to get ready for this game after losing in overtime to Columbus on Saturday. The bad news is that the next four games for the Islanders are against the Rangers, Penguins, Bruins and Predators. The Islanders are just 13-21 on the road this season with 16 games going over, 14 going under, with four pushes.
The Islanders enter the home stretch having had three days off to think about the overtime loss to Columbus on Saturday. New York is just 1-3-1 in their last five games.
The Rangers are in the second half of a back-to-back, as they were at New Jersey on Tuesday. The Rangers have been an excellent road team but they are just 19-18 at home with 18 games going over, 15 going under, with four pushes. "People wonder why we don't win at home and why we win all the road games," Rangers left wing J.T. Miller said. "We try to play every game the same. It's a constant theme. We definitely have more jump in our step on the road."
The Islanders have not been good on the power play this season, as they are just 26th in the league at 15.2%. New York is scoring 2.9 goals per game, which is 9th in the league, but the power play hasn’t produced. The penalty killing is okay for New York, as it is 14th in the league at 81.2%. The Islanders are just 26th in goals allowed at three per game.
The Rangers are 17th on the power play at 18.6% and New York averages 3.2 goals per game, which is 5th in the league. The Rangers are 21st in penalty killing at 80.1% and they allow 2.6 goals per game, which is 11th in the league.
The Islanders are hoping that Thomas Greiss can carry the load the rest of the way because they don’t have a capable backup. Greiss is 24-21 with a 2.69 goals against average, while J.F. Berube is 3-4 with a 3.42 goals against average.
The Rangers are relying heavily on backup Antti Raanta with Henrik Lundqvist out due to injury. Raanta is 15-8 with a 2.30 goals against average. This is a back-to-back so it is worth watching to see if the Rangers give Magnus Hellberg a start on Tuesday and then come back with Raanta in this game or just have Raanta play both games.
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These teams have met three times this season, with the Islanders taking two of the three. The home team has won each game, as the Islanders won 4-2 and 4-2, while the Rangers won 5-3. All three games went over the total. The Islanders have won 7 of the last 10 at MSG with two of the last three going over the total.
I am not going to argue with the trends in this game, so I will take the Islanders and the game over the total.
NHL Odds: Islanders 4, Rangers 3
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