NHL Odds, Pick, Prediction: Islanders vs. Rangers (April 1)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images. Pictured: Igor Shesterkin.
- The Rangers host the Islanders on Friday night in an exciting rivalry matchup.
- The Rangers are home favorites and looking for revenge after dropping their most recent game against the Islanders at Madison Square Garden.
- Jonny Lazarus breaks down the matchup and shares his best bet below.
Islanders vs. Rangers Odds
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Islanders and Rangers are set to meet for the second time in a two-week span, but unfortunately this won’t be one of the exciting Igor Shesterkin vs. Ilya Sorokin battles as Sorokin is currently out with an injury.
No matter who starts in net for the New York Islanders, it’s always exciting when these two teams get together, and this one should make for an exciting battle.
The New York Islanders Continue To Play Well
The New York Islanders have won back-to-back games coming into this contest against their biggest rivals, the New York Rangers. Even though they have won two straight games, tonight will be their second game of a back-to-back and their fourth game in six nights.
The Isles will be missing their stud netminder tonight, Sorokin, due to injury, but Semyon Varlamov has looked very good as of late. Even though Varlamov is playing well, he did play on Thursday night against the Blue Jackets, and goalies don’t typically play both nights in a back-to-back. There is a small chance that the Islanders start Cory Schneider, who hasn’t made an NHL appearance since the 2019-20 campaign.
It is unlikely that Barry Trotz will turn to Schneider, but if he does indeed go with Varlamov, they will still have a chance to win. Varlamov has been great in his past few games as he is 4-1-1 in his last six starts. He hasn’t had a great season as a whole, but this has been a phenomenal stretch. In his most recent start, Varlamov made 30 saves on 32 shots against and had a .938 Save Percentage in a 5-2 win against the Blue Jackets.
The Isles do a great job at protecting whichever goalie is in the blue paint. They are the sixth-best team in defensive proficiency as they are only allowing 2.68 goals per contest, and the last time they played the Rangers, they only allowed one goal on 30 shots against.
The Islanders will definitely do their best to limit the Rangers’ chances, but the only cause for concern is if they can put some pucks past the stout Shesterkin.
New York Rangers Trying to Catch Carolina
The New York Rangers are only five points back of first place in the Metropolitan Division as they try catch the Carolina Hurricanes. Since the trade deadline, the Rangers have gone 4-0-1, and they have won those four games in a row.
The Rangers’ 5-on-5 play as looked so much better with the addition of Frank Vatrano, Andrew Copp and Tyler Motte. These three have looked like a perfect fit for this team as Vatrano and Copp are currently on point streaks. Vatrano is on a four-game point streak with four goals and one assist in that span, while Copp has recorded at least a point in all of his first five games with the team. He has two goals and five assists, including an overtime winner in the team’s last game.
The offensive production has also had a major increase since the deadline. In the five games they’ve played, the Rangers have scored 22 goals, and 19 of them have been at even strength. That is important for them because they struggled mightily to score at even strength for the entire first half of the season.
The strongest part of the Rangers’ game has been their goaltending. Shesterkin has been the story for this team all year long. He is 2-1-0 in his last three starts and 32-9-3 on the season. He put the team on his back in the final two minutes of his last start which, was in a 3-2 win against the Penguins where he made 22 saves. Shesterkin gives the Rangers a chance to win every single night.
Islanders vs. Rangers Pick
The Rangers are absolutely buzzing right now. They have shown a ton of resilience as they have set a franchise record for the most come-from-behind wins in a season with 24.
What Shesterkin has done this season is nothing short of historic. He currently has a 2.11 GAA and a .928 Save Percentage along with a league-best +32.4 GSAx. Without Sorokin in net, the Rangers have a massive advantage in the blue paint.
The Islanders have played well as of late, and this will be the third game in four nights for both teams. However, the Rangers did have a day of rest yesterday, and Islanders are playing for the second straight night. The Rangers are picking up a ton of momentum and looking for revenge against their rival after falling 2-1 in the last meeting at Madison Square Garden.
I am confident that Shesterkin will rise to the challenge, and that the Rangers offense will continue to deliver. Back the Rangers to cover the puck line at amazing plus-money value.
Pick: New York Rangers -1.5 +150