NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction for Rangers vs. Islanders (October 26)
Via Mike Stobe/Getty Images. Pictured: Oliver Wahlstrom #26 of the New York Islanders skates against the Anaheim Ducks at UBS Arena on October 15, 2022 in Elmont, New York. New York Islanders defeated the Anaheim Ducks 7-1.
- The Islanders host the Rangers on Wednesday night in what is expected to be a competitive matchup.
- The Islanders have recently reshuffled their offense, and Tony Sartori likes Oliver Wahlstrom's chances of benefitting from this, especially in this spot with a rest advantage against a backup in net for the Rangers.
- Check out Sartori's picks and analysis below.
Rangers vs. Islanders Odds
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
For the first game of Wednesday's TNT doubleheader, the New York Islanders host the New York Rangers. Entering this matchup, the Islanders have won seven of the last 10 meetings between these two clubs.
Will the Islanders take care of business once again, or can the Rangers pull off the upset as short road underdogs?
Will Halák and the Rangers Rise to the Occasion?
The New York Rangers enter this contest on the second half of a back-to-back following Tuesday's shootout loss to the Colorado Avalanche. Oddsmakers have likely pegged the Rangers for a letdown spot following a long, hard-fought battle the night prior against last season's Stanley Cup Champions.
Since they are on the second half of a back-to-back, we should expect to see backup goaltender Jaroslav Halák take the crease for the Rangers. Through his two starts this season, Halák has been highly disappointing as he is 0-2 with a .852 SV% and 4.03 GAA.
If he qualified, Halák would rank 30th among starting goaltenders in Goals Saved Above Expected per 60 minutes (GSAx/60) at 5v5. The veteran's best days between the pipes are likely behind him as he has failed to post a SV% north of .905 since the 2019-20 season.
Facing his former team, Halák will likely continue to struggle. Across his four starts against the Islanders since leaving Long Island, he is 0-2-2 with a .825 SV% and 5.62 GAA.
Wahlstrom Leads the New Islanders Top Line
The buzz around Long Island this week has been about the latest line changes made by bench manager Lane Lambert, particularly with the top-six forwards. At Tuesday's practice, winger Oliver Wahlstrom was skating alongside Mathew Barzal and Josh Bailey on the top line in an attempt to spark the offense.
We are going to attack a Wahlstrom prop in this game as the market has not sufficiently adjusted for this change. Books are under-analyzing the jump between a second/third-line role versus serving as a primary trigger man on the first line. Wahlstrom has earned the promotion due to his strong start to the season.
Through five games, he has logged three goals, an assist and 18 Shots on Goal. While he did not find the scoresheet in any of the last three games, he has been one of the few New York forwards to actually drive play and create chances.
At 5v5, Wahlstrom is first on the Islanders this season in Goals For per 60 minutes (GF/60), points per 60 minutes and third in xGF/60. Playing alongside an excellent skater and playmaker like Barzal should open up the lanes for Wahlstrom to serve as a primary scoring threat.
Rangers vs. Islanders Pick
Wahlstrom has already looked like the Islanders' top scoring threat (outside of Anders Lee) this season, and now he is finally released from his sheltered minutes and bouncing between the second and third line. Playing on home ice with a rest advantage while facing a backup goaltender who has struggled is perhaps the perfect scenario for Wahlstrom to make a statement to Lambert as to why he deserves to stay up with Barzal and Bailey.
Over the last three games Wahlstrom has played with Halák in the opposing net, the winger has logged two goals. Wahlstrom to just grab just one point is currently at plus-money if you shop around, which is a complete under-reaction to the new role he will play on a team that is starving for an increase in offensive production.
For the more risk-tolerant readers, taking Wahlstrom to score a goal can be found at over +300, which is also worth taking a look at.
Pick: Oliver Wahlstrom Over 0.5 Points (+125) | Play down to (+100)