New York Islanders (2-4 SU, 4-2 PL, 1-5-0 O/U) vs New York Rangers (1-6 SU, 2-5 PL, 3-4-0 O/U)
When: 7:05 PM EDT, Thursday, October 19, 2017
Where: Madison Square Garden in New York, New York
Lines: Rangers -130
Metropolitan Division NHL action this evening as the New York Islanders square off with in-state rivals the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York. The Isles are off a 3-2 road loss to the Kings, while the Rangers are off a 5-4 home loss to the Penguins in OT. Goalie Probables: The Islanders should be sending out Thomas Greiss and the Rangers will counter with Henrik Lundqvist.
Isles Fall In Tight One To The Kings
The New York Islanders finished 5th in the Metro Division last year and they look to be headed for another lower half of the division finish. They did very little to upgrade their team in the offense and it has resulted in a slow start for them as they are just 2-4 out the gate. The Islanders just lost two of three on the west coast with their last loss coming by a score of 3-2 to the Kings. They got off just 25 shots in the game and lost the faceoff battle 31-14. They were trailing 3-1 in the 3rd when they got a goal from Casey Cizikas (3rd of the year) at the 14:20 mark but just couldn’t get the tying goal. Also scoring in the loss was Josh Bailey, which was his 2nd of the year. The offense has been an issue of late as they have now scored just nine goals over their last four games. Taking the loss against Los Angeles was Jaroslav Halak and he is now 1-2 with a 2.62 GAA on the year. Thomas Greiss is expected to get the start in this one and he has gone 1-2 with a 3.07 GAA after going 26-23 with a 2.69 GAA last year overall, including 13-13 with a 2.79 GAA at home. In his career, he has gone 41-52 with a 2.68 GAA at home and 11-11 with a 2.48 GAA during the month of October, while against the Metro Division he has gone 16-19 with a 2.90 GAA and he is 3-1 with a 2.15 GAA in his career against the Rangers
The Islanders enter this contest ranked 21st in the league in scoring at 2.50 gpg, while also ranking 13th in shots taken (32.2 spg) and 31st in power play conversions, converting on 0.0% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been rather average as they come in ranked 17th in goals allowed, giving up 2.83 gpg, while also ranking 20th in shots allowed (33.2 spg) and 19th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 20.0% of their chances.
Another Tough Loss For The Rangers
The New York Rangers are having a real tough time getting started this year as they have gone just 1-5 out the blocks and have lost their last four games in a row, since their lone win of the year, which was a 2-0 win over Montreal at home. On Tuesday night, they fell at home to the Penguins by a score of 5-4 in OT. The Rangers had taken a 4-3 lead in that game at the 8:00 mark of the 3rd period, but then the Pens got a goal from Crosby with just 56 seconds left in regulation to tie the game and then they won it just 58 seconds into OT. That was a very tough loss for them to take and it could happen more often than not this year as they just don’t have the goaltending or defense to hold leads, especially against good offensive teams. They also don’t have the offense to outscore teams right now as they have scored just 10 total goals in their last five games. Henrik Lundqvist took the loss against the Penguins and he has now gone 1-4 with a 3.23 GAA on the year, after posting a 31-24 mark and a 2.74 GAA last year overall, including 16-`13 with a 3.00 GAA here at home. In his career, he has gone 229-167 with a 2.22 GAA here at the Garden and 53-53 with a 2.50 GAA during the month of October, while against the Metropolitan Division he has gone 50-40 with a 2.48 GAA and he has gone 30-25 with a 2.29 GAA in his career against the Islanders.
The Rangers have been poor on offense so far as they come into this game ranked 22nd in the league in scoring at 2.43 gpg, while also ranking 12th in shots taken (33.3 spg) and 11th in power play conversions, converting on 24.1% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have not been that good as they come in ranked 26th in goals allowed, giving up 2.71 gpg, while also ranking 15th in shots allowed (31.3 spg) and 30th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 25.9% of their chances.
The Islanders are:
- 1-5 in their last six road games vs. a team with a home winning % of less than .400
The Rangers are:
- 39-13 in their last 52 vs. a team with a winning % below .400
- 54-26 in their last 80 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400
THe battle for New York has big meaning tonight as both teams are struggling and need that big win to kick-start their seasons. The Islanders missed out on the postseason last year and they did little to upgrade their team this year. Their offense is still weak and they have below average goaltending. The Rangers have struggled on the offensive end of the ice so far and they have poor goaltending. The Rangers are still the better team here and I look for them to finally figure things out on the offensive end of the ice as they pick up a huge win against their longtime rivals.