NY Islanders at NY Rangers Odds, Betting Prediction & TV Info
When: Wednesday, March 22, 8 PM ET
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York
TV: NBC Sports Network
Opening NHL Lines: Rangers favored by TBA
Why bet on the Islanders?The Isles as of Monday are one point out of a playoff spot; they have 78 and Toronto holds down the final spot with 79. That’s the only wild-card spot available because the Rangers hold the first one and they are way up at 93 points. The Islanders have lost two straight and four of five.
On Saturday, the Isles were beaten 3-2 in overtime by visiting Columbus. Cam Atkinson delivered the winner for the Blue Jackets 1:19 into overtime. Before the game, Columbus’ John Tortorella said his team was prepared for New York to attack with heavy pressure. Instead, Columbus outshot New York, 38-22 and controlled much of the game. The shots on goal were 16-8 in the second and the play was decidedly in the Islanders’ end. In their last five games — a 1-3- 1 slide at the worst possible time of the season — the Islanders have been outscored 12-5 in the second period.
Travis Hamonic put New York ahead 1-0 with a slap shot at 14:18 of the first period. It was his first goal since Oct. 30 and his third of the season. John Tavares scored the other. The captain posted his 27th goal of the season, giving him 61 points in 71 games. He has two goals and four points over his last five games as well.
Andrew Ladd got into his first fight as a member of the New York Islanders. Ladd battled with the Blue Jackets Brandon Dubinsky after Ladd gave him a big hit and Dubinsky responded with a slash.
“I hit him, he slashed me, I figured he wanted to go,” Ladd said. “It was kind of that point in the game when we needed a little bit of a spark.”
Thomas Greiss stopped 35 of 38 shots. He’s allowed at least three goals in six of his nine games thismonth. For the season, Greiss' record fell to 24-16- 5 with a 2.69 GAA and a .913 save percentage.
Top-four defenseman Johnny Boychuk (lower body) skated before Monday’s practice. He has missed thelast eight games with a lower-body injury. It’s not clear if he can return on Wednesday.
Why bet on the Rangers?This will be the second of a back-to- back for the Rangers as they visited New Jersey on Tuesday. The Rangers haven’t won back-to- back games since March 6-7 but entered Tuesday off a 3-2 win at Minnesota, one of the best teams in the Western Conference.
Oscar Lindberg had a goal and an assist, and Antti Raanta made 25 saves. Brady Skjei and Jimmy Vesey also scored for the Rangers, who have lost six straight home games but are 7-1 in their last eight on the road. Their 26 road victories are the most in the NHL this season.
Pavel Buchnevich returned to the lineup Saturday and played alongside Vesey and Lindberg. The unit was nicknamed ‘The Kids Line’ and they contributed nicely to the win. Buchnevich chipped in with an assist. He has eight goals and 19 points in 34 games. Vesey scored for the first time in 15 games Saturday.
Raanta established a career high with his 23rd start of the season. He has started the last five games for New York in place of the injured Henrik Lundqvist, who won’t play here. With a record of 3-2- 1, Raanta alternated regulation wins and defeats until the March 17 shootout overtime loss to the Panthers.
Lundqvist (hip) could be back in the lineup during the Rangers’ California road trip. The trio begins against Los Angeles on Saturday and ends with a match versus San Jose on Mar. 28. Coach Alain Vigneault expects Lundqvist to play during that time based on the progress the netminder has made recently.
The Blueshirts also are without defenseman Dan Girardi due to an ankle injury. Girardi returned to action in the middle of February but was lost to the team again at the end of the month and the 10-14 day projection for a return has come and gone. He has 12 points in 56 games with a plus-eight rating.