Islanders vs. Rangers: Free Picks, Odds & Predictions

Islanders vs Rangers NHL
N.Y. Islanders vs. N.Y. Rangers, Nassau Memorial Coliseum

Both of the New York Islanders and New York Rangers played Thursday’s night, so they will be equally tired when the two rivals play Friday night on Long Island. The Islanders enter the game on a five-game winning streak and have looked strong in the process against some good opposition. The Rangers continue to be consistently inconsistent, so you never really know which version of this young team will show up on a given night. The Islanders are the better team and they should be able to use their experience to outgrind the Rangers on the second night of a back-to-back.

Free Picks

It is bold to pick a player to score in his second game with his new team, but that’s the risk I’m taking with Kyle Palmieri. Besides the excellent value at +280 odds from the NHL betting sites in New Jersey, it’s the fact that Palmieri looked sharp Thursday in his first game with the Islanders. It’s not like New York as a lot of obvious scoring threats, either, so why not pick Palmieri to get his tenure on Long Island off to a great start with a goal. The change of scenery should certainly help him earn more scoring chances than he had with the Devils, and I like his chances against a leaky Rangers defense.

KYLE PALMIERI SCORES GOAL

Surprisingly, all three of the previous meetings this season have been shutouts with the Islanders coming out on top in two of those three games. I wasn’t bold enough to pick the Islanders to shut out the Rangers for a third time at the hockey betting sites in New Jersey and potentially collect on the +1100 odds. However, I feel it isn’t a stretch to take the +290 odds that the Rangers don’t score more than one goal. New York’s defensive structure is a problem for opponents and the Rangers’ scoring depth is fairly inconsistent, so I think the Islanders will be able to limit the number of dangerous chances the Rangers earn. Add in the fact that the Islanders are at home and it isn’t hard to see another sterling defensive performance from the hosts.

NEW YORK RANGERS UNDER 1.5 GOALS

If I had more faith in New York’s offense, I might have picked the Islanders with a spread, but as it stands, I’ll stay safe by picking them to get the job done in 60 minutes. Excusing the eight-goal outburst in Washington, the Islanders have scored two goals or fewer in regulation in the other four games while picking up eight of a possible 10 points. At +123 odds, it isn’t the best return from the legal sports betting sites in New Jersey, but it’s good enough when you have a team like the Islanders that you can’t trust to steamroll the opposition.

NEW YORK ISLANDERS WIN IN REGULATION

Best Odds

N.Y. Islanders N.Y. Rangers
888Sport
-130 +107
FanDuel
-142 +120
BetMGM
-130 +110

Statistics

Head to Head

This is the fourth meeting of the season for the two New York teams and the Islanders won two of the three games already played this year.

Stats

  • The Islanders have not skipped a beat since losing captain Anders Lee for the season in mid-March. In 13 games since the injury, New York has won nine times and scored 40 goals while allowing just 32 in that span.
  • In the last 12 games, the Rangers’ power play has been excellent, converting at a ridiculous 33.3 percent rate. They have scored a power-play goal in nine of those 12 games, including four games with multiple goals on the man advantage.
  • Artemi Panarin continues to have a monster season for the Rangers this year despite missing a handful of games. The Russian has scored 11 points in the last five games and has 22 points in 14 games since returning to the ice from his personal issue.
  • The Islanders lead the league with six team shutouts and they are being backstopped by Semyon Varlamov’s .922 save percentage and four shutouts this season.

Our Prediction for N.Y. Islanders vs. N.Y. Rangers

New York Islanders to win

There are certain nights when the New York Rangers look like a team that could challenge for a playoffs spot this season. There are plenty of more nights where the Rangers look a year or two away from being a postseason contender, which is what troubles me as they face the New York Islanders on Friday on the second night of a back-to-back. The Islanders lead the East Division and have won four straight games for a reason, which starts with excellent defending and goaltending. The offense is there in spurts, but it’s far less important when the Islanders are defending well, which they have done for most of the season, so I shouldn’t expect it to change Friday.

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Josh Walfish is an award-winning journalist who has been covering college and professional sports in the United States. He holds a journalism degree from Northwestern University and his work has appeared in the Miami Herald, Chicago Sun-Times and Providence Journal. He most recently chronicled the UMass hockey teams rise to prominence over the last two years for the local newspaper

All Reviews by Josh Walfish

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