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NHL Odds, Pick & Preview: Rangers vs. Coyotes (Dec. 15)

NHL Odds, Pick & Preview: Rangers vs. Coyotes (Dec. 15) article feature image

Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Artemi Panarin of the New York Rangers.

  • The Rangers face the Coyotes on Wednesday night in the desert
  • The Coyotes have struggled all season long, but is now the right time to buy low on them?
  • Nicholas Martin analyzes the game and shares his best bet below.

Rangers vs. Coyotes Odds

Rangers Odds-205
Coyotes Odds+175
Time9 p.m. ET
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

After a dominant 11-game win streak, New York fell for the third time in four contests last night, 4-2 to the cup-favorite Avalanche, who are looking more and more the part as the season wears along.

Colorado may have exposed New York as somewhat of a tier below the true contenders of late, but the Rangers will have an excellent chance to get back in form and take advantage of considerably easier competition in Arizona tomorrow night.

Will the Rangers get things back on track here against a Coyotes team that has the potential to post the worst record seen in the salary cap era?

Arizona Coyotes

Throughout this season, the Coyotes have consistently produced the horrendous results one may expect from a roster quite possibly offering the least talent on paper we have seen in the post lockout era.

A 42.88 xGF% altogether this season is a lowly mark as you may expect, but it certainly isn’t surprising to see that this group has created 2.54 fewer goals than expected, and allowed 11.55 more than expected.

The team has little true offensive creativity or goal-scoring ability, and has received very shaky goaltending altogether this season. This combined with their lesser control of the play has led to the NHL’s worst record and Goal Differential.

Life won’t get any easier for the Coyotes here, as although he hasn’t quite performed up to his high expectations this season, top defenseman Jakob Chychrun will remain out for the contest and is a significant loss to their already-thin lineup.

Scott Wedgewood has been confirmed as the Coyotes’ starter for the contest and has posted a .906 Save % with a -1.9 Goals Saved Above Expected rating (GSAx).

New York Rangers

The Rangers have recently regressed, as one may have expected. They have fallen twice to the Avalanche, once to the Predators, and snuck by Buffalo 2-1 in a game which featured a controversial disallowed game-tying goal.

Surely they weren’t going to finish the season without facing some more adversity, especially considering that the roster isn’t notably stacked, but altogether Rangers fans must be thrilled with the promise shown from their young roster this season. The team has clearly gelled under coach Gerard Gallant, and you can feel the positivity and energy from a very tight-knit roster.

The team has posted a 54.0 xGF% over the last month of play and have seen some improved play from pieces such as Julien Gauthier and Dryden Hunt of late. More meaningful contributions from their depth players are exactly what the roster needs to be considered a legit contender.

The elite pieces who lead the club have again been on par with the absolute best the league has to offer. Adam Fox continues to grow as a player and is right in the thick of the Norris trophy race yet again this season. Artemi Panarin continues to display some of the best creativity and awareness in hockey. And Chris Kreider has been on a goal-scoring spree, which has many speculating if he has earned a berth onto the USA’s olympic team.

Igor Shesterkin remains day-to-day, and it is unclear when the Rangers will see the return of their dominant young netminder. With Alexandr Georgiev having played Tuesday in Colorado, we will likely see Keith Kinkaid start here. Kinkaid has posted a .916 Save % with Hartford of the AHL throughout 11 games this season.

Rangers vs. Coyotes Pick

Fading the Coyotes has been wildly profitable this year, and that trend has continued of late, with the Coyotes falling in regulation in seven of their last eight contests. They have a Goal Differential of -19 over that span, a -2.37 per game average.

The Rangers may be punching slightly above their weight record by some indications, but they still have dominated essentially all competition with the exception of the Avalanche over the last five weeks, posting a 12-4-0 record with 11 regulation wins.

The Rangers have seen their power play catch fire of late and should continue that success here against a Coyotes team that has offered an abysmal penalty kill this season at just 71.9%

The Rangers should bounce-back after two losses with an urgent and sharp effort here, which considering the lack of talent in Arizona’s lineup, should allow some separation more often than not.

Keith Kinkaid is a meaningful drop-off from Igor Shesterkin, but he is still on par with Scott Wedgewood, and I’m still happy to back a New York win in regulation here with that goaltending matchup. I like the current number at -140 and would play it down to -155.

Igor Shesterkin is also not 100% ruled out, and if he were to end up playing, there will be even more value on a price I already feel is fair.

Pick: New York Rangers Regulation Win -140 (Play to -155)

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