NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Rangers vs. Canucks
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images. Pictured: Chris Kreider and Artemi Panarin
- The Vancouver Canucks host the New York Rangers in an NHL tilt on Wednesday night.
- New York is rolling offensively right now, while Vancouver is essentially mailing in the rest of the season.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including how to bet it.
Rangers vs. Canucks Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Rangers have won five straight games, including commanding 6-3 and 6-2 victories against Seattle and Carolina, respectively, since New York acquired Vladimir Tarasenko.
Will the good times continue for the Rangers when they face the freefalling Canucks on Wednesday, or can Vancouver pull off an upset?
New York Rangers
The Rangers were a huge offensive threat even without Tarasenko. After all, they are averaging 3.32 goals per game this season, which is the ninth-best in the league, and Tarasenko has only been a member of the team for two of those contests. Still, he does help round out what was already an impressive forward group.
The Rangers’ top two scoring lines against Vancouver are projected to be Tarasenko, Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider, followed by Artemi Panarin, Vincent Trocheck and Jimmy Vesey. Either of those units would qualify as a strong first line.
Beyond them, the Rangers have the Kid Line of Alexis Lafreniere, Filip Chytil and Kaapo Kakko. That group has quietly played an important role recently. Lafreniere has three goals and eight points in his last eight games, Chytil has an incredible 11 goals and 16 points in his last 15 contests and Kakko has contributed two goals and 10 points in his last nine outings. That’s impressive talent to have on a third line.
Plus the Rangers aren’t just a good offensive team. They have one of the league’s top goaltenders in Igor Shesterkin. He won the Vezina Trophy last season, and while he’s unlikely to capture it again this season, he’s having another strong campaign with a 23-8-7 record, 2.48 GAA and .916 save percentage in 38 starts.
The Canucks have written this season off. Vancouver has already dealt team captain Bo Horvat to the Islanders, and more trades are likely to follow. That leaves the Canucks with little to play for in the short-term beyond the personal.
With the team a mess, Vancouver has won just five of its last 20 games. Still, even after the Horvat trade, the Canucks aren’t devoid of talent. They have the 12th-ranked offense with 3.30 goals per game and they’ve managed to score an average of 3.20 goals over their last five contests following the Horvat trade.
That minimal drop off isn’t shocking given that they still have an strong forward core in Elias Pettersson, J.T. Miller and Andrei Kuzmenko along with one of the best offensive defensemen in the league in Quinn Hughes. Each of those four players has recorded at least 45 points over Vancouver’s 54 contests.
The Canucks’ problem has never been their offense, though. Starting goaltender Thatcher Demko has a lower-body injury and hasn’t been able to play since Dec. 1. Consequently, Vancouver’s been leaning on Spencer Martin, who has an 11-15-1 record, 3.99 GAA and .871 save percentage in 29 contests. He’s struggled so badly that Vancouver put him on waivers Monday and sent him to the minors after he cleared.
That leaves the Canucks with Collin Delia as Wednesday’s probable starter. He hasn’t been much better than Martin though, posting a 3.48 GAA and an .878 save percentage in 14 contests in 2022-23.
Rangers vs. Canucks Pick
Vancouver did play New York on Feb. 8 and lost 4-3. That game was before the Tarasenko trade, though, and at this point, I think the gap is great enough that the Rangers should be able to best Vancouver by at least two goals.
I’m willing to take the chance on picking the Rangers on the puck line for that potential payout, but if you don’t feel as confident, taking the over of 6.5 goals is a solid alternative. Both of these are high-scoring teams, so it’s reasonable to believe that they can combine for seven or more goals.
The reason I’m personally not taking the over is because it comes with -120 odds, and in this case I feel good enough to chase something bigger, but your mileage may vary.
Pick: Rangers Puck Line -1.5 (+125 or Better)
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