NHL Pick: New York Rangers at New York Islanders
The New York Rangers (37-18-1, 75pts) visit the rival New York Islander (25-20-10, 60pts) tonight for a 7 p.m. ET faceoff. The two teams have met twice before this season and have split with both winning at home. The Rangers won 5-3 on Oct. 13 and the Islanders 4-2 on Dec. 6. The team on the island has dominated the last six meetings going 5-1. Our New York Rangers play New York Islanders free pick has the Rangers barely favored at -115 and Islanders at -110. The puckline offers the Rangers at +260 and Islanders at -310.
The Rangers beat the Columbus Bluejackets 3-2 on Monday. That victory put them two-points behind the second and third in the East teams, the Penguins and Bluejackets. The Rangers are 8-2-0 for their last 10 games. They’ve won six straight teams and are +45 in PF/PA.
The Rangers sit in 10th place in the East and are three points out of the final playoff spot. The team is coming off a 7-1 St. Valentine’s Day Massacre-like loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs. The team is 6-3-1 for its last 10 and has a PF/PA mark of -3.
New York Rangers
The Ranger offense is averaging 3.4 GF, while allowing 2.6 GA. Goalie Henrik Lundqvist (42 G, 26-13-1, 2.68 GGA), who now has 400 wins, has a .911 SV% this season. The team is 15th in the NHL in power play percentage (20%) and 11th penalty kill (82.1%). Winger Michael Grabner (26 G, 10 A, +28) leads the team in plus/minus. Center J.T. Miller (18 G, 28 A, +20) leads the team in points (46) and short-handed goals (4). Left Wing Chris Kreider (22 G. 17 A, +9) is tops for the Rangers in PPG with five. Wingers Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello and center Derek Stepan are all major contributors with each accumulating over 40 points.
New York Islanders
With a 2.9 GF average, the Islanders are seventh in the NHL. However, they are 25th in GA at 2.9. The Islanders are 17th on the penalty kill at 81.3%, but are ranked 25th on the power play at 16.0%. Goaltender Thomas Greiss (31 G, 17-10-3, 2.55 GAA) bring a .918 SV% into this game. Center John Tavares (20 G, 26 A, +3) is the team’s goal-leader. He also brings 14 power play points to the ice tonight. Left wing John Bailey (11 G, 27 A, +4), who tops the team in assists, offers 10 power play points. Centers Anders Lee and Brock Nelson and defenseman Nick Leddy each have more than 30 points. Leddy has 10 power play assists.
New York Rangers Play New York Islanders Free Pick
Recently, the Islanders seem to always step up against the Rangers. Still, the Rangers come to this game as one of the hottest teams in the NHL. Lately, the Islanders have had numerous multi-goal losses, while of the Rangers last six wins only one was by more than one goal. We think the Rangers will bust out tonight and win by two or more. Our New York Rangers play New York Islanders free pick is the visiting Ranger at +260 with the puckline at -1.5.