Phoenix Coyotes v New York Rangers

NHL Hockey Betting: New York Rangers at New York Islanders

Added February 16, 2015 by Levi Watkins

The main event on the Presidents’ Day hockey card is undoubtedly the game at the top of the board. This will be the fourth time that the New York Rangers and New York Islanders have played this season. The Islanders have made a claim for hockey dominance in ‘The Big Apple’ by winning all three games in his heated rivalry. The Islanders currently lead the Metropolitan Conference with 75 points but the Rangers are just 4 back in third place. Both teams are essentially in identical form–the Islanders are 6-4-0 in their last 10 games while the Rangers are 6-3-1 in their last 10. The Rangers enter this matchup on a three game winning streak while the Islanders are on a four game winning streak.

One big subplot of this matchup is goaltending or, more specifically, the absence of the Rangers’ starting goalie Henrik Lundqvist. Lundqvist is out for at least a month following a scary incident in which he got hit in the throat with a shot during a game. Apparently, the damage it caused was worse than originally thought and doctors now say that he was at risk for a stroke if he had continued to play. There were some concerns that the Rangers would struggle during his absence but so far so good as Cam Talbot has played well in relief and the team is 4-2 since Lundqvist went out.

This is a strange matchup, at least from a handicapping standpoint. The Rangers have a significant power rating advantage suggesting that they’re the play–and particularly as an underdog. But that’s been the case for every matchup this season and despite their better power rating the Rangers are 0-3 against the Islanders this year. None of the games have even been close with the Islanders winning by a combined score of 13-4. The teams have split the last twelve head to head although the Islanders have won 3 of the last 4 on their home ice. Maybe I’m a sucker for going back to the well again but the Rangers are a better team than they’ve shown against the Islanders this year. At an underdog price with the teams in similar form I’ll look for the Rangers to get one back from their rivals.

BET NEW YORK RANGERS +125 OVER NEW YORK ISLANDERS

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