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NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Sharks vs. Rangers (Dec. 3)

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Sharks vs. Rangers (Dec. 3) article feature image
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Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Igor Shesterkin and the Rangers celebrate a win.

Sharks vs. Rangers Odds

Sharks Odds +150
Rangers Odds -175
Over/Under 5.5
Time 7 p.m. ET
TV ESPN+
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The suddenly red-hot Sharks will take to Manhattan on Friday for a date with the scalding Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

The Sharks have won the first three games on their five-game road trip, including a 2-1 overtime victory over the New York Islanders on Thursday. San Jose’s allowed just three goals in its first three games of the trip.

The Rangers have won four straight, most recently defeating Philadelphia 4-1 on Wednesday night at MSG.

Sharks Carried By Top Line

San Jose’s sudden hot streak coincides with the solid play of goalie James Reimer, who has won five of his past seven starts and stopped 192 of 207 shots in that span (.928). Reimer is likely to get the nod in goal against the Rangers after backup Adin Hill made 24 saves in San Jose’s win Thursday.

San Jose has been carried offensively by its top line of Timo Meier, Logan Couture and Jonathan Dahlen. Meier and Couture are 1-2 on the team in points, and Dahlen is tied for third on the team with seven goals.

The Sharks have been one of the worst possession teams and rank in the bottom 10 in the NHL in 5-on-5 Corsi-for percentage (46.3), 5-on-5 Fenwick-for percentage (47.1), 5-on-5 expected goals for percentage (48.2) and 5-on-5 shots-for percentage (47.2) according to Natural Stat Trick, yet are still locked into a Western Conference wild card spot entering play Friday.

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Goaltending Has Boosted Rangers

The Rangers are also relying heavily on their goaltending, specifically from starter Igor Shesterkin, who has been arguably the best goalie in the NHL through the season’s first quarter.

Shesterkin ranks sixth in the NHL in saves (503) and has the sixth-best save percentage among qualifying netminders (.935). He’s averaging the second-most saves per game (29.6) behind only Robin Lehner of the Vegas Golden Knights and has the third-best goals-saved above average in all situations (12.0) according to Natural Stat Trick.

Shesterkin has been that busy because the Rangers have been arguably the worst possession team in the NHL thus far. New York has the second-worst 5-on-5 Corsi-for percentage (45.3), behind only the lowly Ottawa Senators, yet have the third-best points percentage (.738) behind the Edmonton Oilers and Florida Panthers.

Rangers vs. Sharks Pick

I’d be tempted to pick the Sharks here if not for the fact they played the night before. San Jose is rolling, and Shesterkin is due a down night, plus there’s a chance backup Alexandar Georgiev gets the nod in goal with the Rangers hosting the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday.

Still, with two bad possession teams that rely on elite goaltending, we like the under as a safer pick, assuming each team’s starter gets the nod. Four of New York’s past six games have featured fewer than six goals, and seven of San Jose’s past nine have had five goals or fewer.

Pick: Under 5.5 (+100)

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