NHL Odds, Pick & Preview: Islanders vs. Avalanche (March 1)
David Becker/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: The Colorado Avalanche react
- The Colorado Avalanche will host the New York Islanders in this Tuesday night showdown.
- Ilya Sorokin notched his fifth shutout of the season against the Ducks, but can he keep the Avs out of the net on their home ice?
- Jonny Lazarus breaks down the game and gives his top pick, below.
Islanders vs. Avalanche Odds
|Time||9 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The New York Islanders are coming off of a very strong road win in Anaheim thanks to a 34-save shutout by Ilya Sorokin. The Islanders are wrapping up a five-game West Coast road trip and have gone 2-1-1 through the first four games.
The Colorado Avalanche are riding a three-game win streak, but their most recent victory did not come so easily. The Avs were completely outplayed by the Vegas Golden Knights — getting outshot 36-21 — but they found a way to squeeze out a 3-2 win on the road.
Can Sorokin Keep Shutout Streak Alive For Islanders?
Ilya Sorokin recorded his fifth shutout of the season on Sunday night against Anaheim. That puts him at second in shutouts this season, behind only Jacob Markstrom with eight. Can he keep it going against the Islanders?
Sorokin has been the only Islander to play consistently well all season long and, despite the team’s lack of success, he has put up some impressive numbers. He has a record of 17-11-7 with a .923 save percentage and a +2.3 Goals Saved Above Expected.
It was nice to see the Islanders get some offensive contributions from their fourth line on Sunday night. Casey Cizikas tallied a goal and an assist while Ross Johnston had a two-assist night. The Islanders’ bottom-six forwards bring their lineup a ton of energy and it is no coincidence that when those guys are at their best, they get the results that they’re looking for. These guys may have to step it up a level further if Mathew Barzal, who is questionable with a lower-body injury, doesn’t play.
The Islanders have been able to find the back of the net during this road trip. They have tallied 14 goals over the course of four games, which is very impressive for the 27th-ranked offense that averages only 2.53 goals per game. Maybe a little road trip is exactly what New York needed to get going.
The focus for this showdown will be how well the Islanders can defend, which is what they have prided themselves on under head coach Barry Trotz. The Islanders rank seventh defensively, only giving up 2.69 goals against, but their blue liners will face a very tough task in slowing down superstars like Nathan MacKinnon and Cale Makar.
Colorado Avalanche Hoping to Extend Win Streak
One of the common phrases you’ll hear in sports is that “good teams find a way to win” and that’s exactly what happened in Vegas on Saturday night. The Colorado Avalanche are a very good team that found a way despite being completely outplayed by a strong opponent.
Darcy Kuemper stood on his head — stopping 34 out of 36 shots — and won his team the game. Kuemper has a had a very strong year thus far with a 26-6-2 record, a .920 save percentage and a +15.0 GSAx.
It is very rare that Colorado struggles to generate offensive scoring chances, but the Avs were only expected to score 1.25 goals on Saturday. Fortunately for them, they will be back on home ice in this matchup where they are nearly unbeatable at an astounding 22-3-2 on home ice. In their last home game, they erased a 3-0 deficit to the Winnipeg Jets by scoring six unanswered goals to come back and win 6-3. Ball Arena has become a very difficult place to play for road teams.
The Islanders do play a strong defensive game, but it is rare that the second-best offensive team — that scores 3.96 goals per game no less — will be slowed down two games in a row. The Avs should come out absolutely buzzing.
Islanders vs. Avalanche Pick
It seems very unlikely that New York’s star forward Mathew Barzal plays and all of the offense runs through him. And the Islanders offense is far inferior to that of Colorado even with Barzal.
If the Avalanche score the first goal, I could see this game getting very ugly. If the Islanders come out and score first, the Avs aren’t a team that you can really shut down defensively — they’re going to get their chances considering they average 11.78 high-danger chances per 60 minutes.
Ilya Sorokin will have to be close to perfect for the Islanders to stand a chance and it is very hard to do that two games in a row. The Avalanche are heavy favorites for a reason — they should dominate on home ice and take care of this in regulation.
Pick: Avalanche To Win In Regulation (-170)