NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Rangers vs. Senators (November 30)
Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Cam Talbot
- The Senators and Rangers meet on Wednesday night in Ottawa.
- The Senators have been struggling this season, but there might be value on them as an underdog here.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting prediction.
Rangers vs. Senators Odds
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The New York Rangers head to Canada’s capital to take on the Ottawa Senators. It’s been a brutal stretch for New York as it’s currently going through a three-game losing streak and is 4-5-1 in the last 10 games.
Many thought this year was going to be different for the Senators. Boy were we wrong. The Senators are currently last in the East, and although they’ve won two in a row, they’ve still gone 4-5-1 in their last 10.
What happens in Ottawa? Will the Sens make it three in a row, or will the Rangers break the skid?
New York Rangers
Despite their recent struggles, the Rangers are not a team to be taken lightly. You have three players in Artemi Panarin, Adam Fox, and Mika Zibanejad who are all averaging well over a point per game. Chris Kreider is also a deadly option, scoring 54 goals last season.
What was once a weakness for the Rangers is now a strength for them. New York is one of the better teams at generating even strength offense. It plays to an eighth-best 53.04 xGF% (expected goals) and creates 10 high danger chances per game. Along with its high end even strength attack, the power play isn’t too shabby either, scoring 21.3% of the time.
New York has a real solid defensive structure. The Blue Shirts play to an eighth-best 2.46 xGA/60, while the penalty kill succeeds at a fifth-best 82.6% pace.
The reigning Vezina winner Igor Shesterkin is going through possibly the worst stretch of his career with an uncharacteristic .899 SV% over the past three games. He’s been visibly frustrated in practices and when interviewed after games.
But even then, his numbers are fairly decent, just unlike what we’re used to from Shesterkin. Overall, he’s playing to a +4.0 goals saved above expected (GSAx) and a .913 SV%.
This Ottawa Senators team is very deep and it’s shown in the numbers. Captain Brady Tkachuk and Tim Stutzle are averaging a point per game, while Claude Giroux isn’t far behind. Offseason acquisition Alex Debrincat started slow, but is now starting to get his footing with his new team as well.
They’ve managed to dominate offensively, even without center Josh Norris who’s return from injury still has no timetable.
I have really liked what I’ve seen out of the Sens with their even strength attack. The charts favor them a lot with an expected goals rate of 52.04% and generating just under 11 high danger chances per game. Not only that, but the power play has worked well, succeeding at a 24.7% rate.
While the offense is clicking on all cylinders, it’s the defense that needs work for the Sens to get out of the bottom of the East. They’ve played to an underwhelming 2.78 xGA/60 and the penalty kill has been below average succeeding only 77% of the time.
I’d be interested to see if Anton Forsberg plays tonight. The Swedish netminder has missed his last three starts due to injury but is now listed day-to-day. In his absence, veteran Cam Talbot has done exceptionally well with a .953 SV% in those three games. Over the course of the season, he’s played to a solid +3.8 GSAx and a .919 SV%.
If I had to guess, I’d think coach DJ Smith goes to the hot hand, since Forsberg wasn’t playing great prior to his injury.
Rangers vs. Senators Pick
When looking at the models alone, it’s very clear that the Rangers have the advantage here. I really like Ottawa’s roster, and its lack of a defensive prowess raises major red flags for me. Sure Shesterkin is going through a rough patch, but he’s the reigning Vezina winner for a reason. He was playing at a historic pace last year, and all he needs is one game to get back on the wagon.
Granted, it won’t be easy. Ottawa has a legitimate offensive game and can net a few if they get hot. Factor in that, but they’ll be home for the first time in over a week and I’m sure they’ll enjoy some home cooking.
The Sens have also found most of their success this season on their home ice, so I’d have to imagine there will be a jump from them tonight.
It’s a tricky one to pick, but I’m backing the upset here for the Senators to send their fans home happy.
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