NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Ducks vs. Rangers (October 17)

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Ducks vs. Rangers (October 17) article feature image

Icon Sportswire/Getty. Pictured: Igor Shesterkin.

Ducks vs. Rangers Odds

Ducks Odds+180
Rangers Odds-225
Time7 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

After opening a five-game road trip with a 7-1 loss to the New York Islanders on Saturday night, the 1-1-0 Anaheim Ducks touch down at Madison Square Garden on Monday.

They'll face the 2-1-0 New York Rangers on the first half of a back-to-back set that will see them play the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday.

As for the Rangers, they're back on home ice. They closed out last week on the road — with a big win in Minnesota followed by a 4-1 loss in Winnipeg.

Here's a look at the latest from both teams, and your best bet for Monday.

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Ducks Riding Young Talent

The Ducks came from behind to beat Seattle in overtime in their home opener on Wednesday night. Then, they got torched by the Islanders on Saturday.

It's not easy to find one's legs after coast-to-coast travel, especially when heading from West to East. Anaheim held a full practice on Sunday and should have better energy for their clash with the Rangers.

Best known this season for their young talents like Trevor Zegras, Troy Terry and defenseman Jamie Drysdale, the Ducks underwent a pretty significant offseason reconstruction. Their most notable additions were defenseman John Klingberg and forwards Ryan Strome and Frank Vatrano.

Coach Dallas Eakins is now in the midst of a chemistry experiment, trying to see who works best together. That experimentation will likely continue at MSG on Monday.

As a team, the Ducks have been porous defensively in the early going. They controlled just 42.79% of the expected goals at 5-on-5 in their first two games. Special teams were a big factor in Game 1, both on the power play and the penalty kill, but all eight goals on Long Island were scored at even strength.

After giving up five goals to the Islanders on 27 shots through 40 minutes, John Gibson was replaced by Anthony Stolarz for the third period on Saturday.

Gibson has started the year at -1.2 goals saved above expected, to go along with his .880 save percentage. Stolarz gave up two goals on 11 shots, so his save percentage over just one period of action is .818.

With the back-to-back set on Monday and Tuesday, expect Eakins to give each goalie one start each. It's likely that he'll hand the reins back to his starter against the Rangers, giving him a chance to quickly put his Long Island nightmare behind him.

Rangers Looking to Back Up Success

After their unexpected run to last spring's Eastern Conference Final, the Rangers are now tasked with proving that success was no fluke — and that their team's foundation is built around more than just Vezina Trophy winner Igor Shesterkin.

So far this season, Shesterkin has picked up where he left off. He won his first two starts, has a .935 save percentage and is already among the league leaders at 3.2 goals saved above expected. With the Rangers kicking off a nicely spaced-out four-game home stand on Monday, there's every reason to expect he'll get the nod against Anaheim.

Up front, New York has controlled a solid 53.6% of expected goals at 5-on-5, but special teams have been so-so: 2-for-11 on the power play for a conversion rate of 18.6% and just 10-for-13 on the penalty kill. A rule of thumb is that a good team should have a special-teams percentage over 100 if you add the power play and penalty-kill rates together. At 95.5, the Rangers currently fall short.

As for the lineup, forward Ryan Carpenter missed practice on Sunday after leaving Friday's game in Winnipeg due to a nasty skate cut to his ear. That leaves room for Sammy Blais to draw in for his first regular-season game in nearly a year.

After being injured in Game 1 on Tuesday, winger Vitali Kravtsov was practicing in a non-contact jersey on Sunday. He may also be close to a return.

Ducks vs. Rangers Pick

The Rangers started their season looking fast, cohesive and confident — and they have Shesterkin holding down the fort when things go wrong.

That's a tough challenge for visitors at Madison Square Garden to overcome, and the odds reflect that. The moneyline of -225 at BetMGM suggests the Rangers' odds of winnimg on Monday are just below 70%. If you bet this strong favorite, you won't be setting yourself up for much of a potential payout.

Gibson is a good goalie who doesn't seem dialed in quite yet. That makes the over/under a rather risky proposition.

For a high-value potential payout, this is a good opportunity to back the home side on the puck line. Back the Rangers to win by a multi-goal margin.

Pick: Rangers -1.5 (+115); play down to +105

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