Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#29 N.Y. Rangers 6.5 vs.
#30 Vegas Golden Knights -215
Sunday, December 8, 2019 at 7:05pm EST
T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas
Written by Chris Kubala

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It’s an interconference matchup on the ice in the city that never sleeps. The New York Rangers are on the road as they make the trip to face the Vegas Golden Knights Sunday night. New York was edged 2-1 at home by Montreal Friday night in their previous contest. Vegas was dropped 3-2 in overtime on the road by the Islanders Thursday night in their previous contest. The Golden Knights have won four of the five previous meetings, including a 4-1 road victory in the first matchup this season, which took place on December 2.

New York Rangers Try to Earn Season Split

New York has alternated wins and losses in their last six games as they were upended at home Friday night in their last contest. The Rangers entered Saturday sixth in the Metropolitan Division, eight points behind the Flyers for the final guaranteed playoff spot and 18 back of the Capitals for the division lead. In the wild card race, they were five points behind the Penguins for the second wild-card spot. New York is 10th in the league with 3.14 goals per contest. The Rangers are 23rd in goals against as they allow 3.21 goals per game. New York is tied for 14th in the league in power play percentage as they convert 19 percent of their chances with the man advantage. The Rangers are 23rd in penalty killing as they successfully navigate 76.6 percent of their shorthanded situations with a league-leading six shorthanded goals.

In a tightly contested game Friday night, the Rangers were unable to get enough offense going and it ended up costing them late. New York was outshot 11-8 in the opening period and trailed 1-0 after 20 minutes of play. The second period saw the Rangers hold a 14-11 edge in shots on goal and they scored the lone goal to tie the game at one after 40 minutes of action. Brendan Smith scored his third of the year, unassisted, at the 2:30 mark to knot the game. In the final period, New York was outshot 11-8 and they gave up the winning goal with 1:07 to play in regulation to suffer the defeat. The Rangers were outshot 33-30 in the contest. Alexander Georgiev made 31 saves in the loss for New York but Henrik Lundqvist is expected to get the start here.

Vegas Golden Knights Look to Rebound at Home

Vegas saw their four-game win streak snapped as they were beaten in overtime by the Islanders on the road Thursday night. The Golden Knights entered Saturday night holding the final guaranteed playoff spot in the Pacific Division: they stood four points back of Edmonton for the division lead. Vegas is 18th in scoring with 2.90 goals per game this season. The Golden Knights are 12th in goals against as they allow 2.84 goals per contest on the year. Vegas is tied for 7th in the league with the man advantage as they convert 22.9 percent of their power play chances this season. The Golden Knights are tied for fourth in the league in penalty killing as they successfully get through 85.1 percent of their shorthanded situations: they are tied for second in the league with five shorthanded goals.

In their last game, Vegas battled to end up with a point but their four-game win streak came to an end as they fell to the Islanders. The Golden Knights were outshot 13-8 in a scoreless first period between the teams. In the second period, Vegas held a 13-12 edge in shots on goal with both teams scoring once to leave the game tied at one after 40 minutes. After falling behind 1-0, Alex Tuch scored his fifth of the year for the Golden Knights to tie the score at the 15:17 mark of the period. Cody Glass and Jon Merrill drew the assists on the goal. The third period saw Vegas hold an 11-4 edge in shots with both teams scoring once to send the game to overtime. Vegas trailed 2-1 before Jonathan Marchessault tallied his ninth of the year at 15:28 off assists from Reilly Smith and Nicolas Hague. In the extra session, the Golden Knights were outshot 2-1 and gave up the game-winning goal on the power play to take the loss. Malcolm Subban made 28 saves in the loss for the Golden Knights, who held a 33-31 edge in shots in the game. Marc-Andre Fleury is expected to get the call between the pipes.

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The Rangers have been up and down of late as they’ve been inconsistent on both ends of the ice. New York is a middle of the road team as they continue to try to figure out the right combinations to work on a nightly basis. Vegas had won four straight and now has points in five straight games as they earned one point in the OT loss to the Islanders. The Golden Knights are back home here and should get a boost from having Fleury back in the mix. Subban was solid in six straight starts but with Vegas having their #1 goaltender in net here, you have to give them the edge.

Prediction: Vegas Golden Knights -195

Full-Game Total Pick

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New York is 6-5-1 on the road this season so they are actually above the .500 mark on the year. The Rangers have been outscored by five on the road this season (41-36) while being outshot by a whopping 120 shots (449-329) as the visiting team. That puts up an average of 6.42 goals per game when New York is on the road. Vegas comes in with a 7-5-3 home mark on the season. The Golden Knights own a +2 goal differential (47-45) and a +61 shot differential (544-483) at home on the season. That gives an average of 6.13 goals per game in their contests this season at home. What transpires in this one?

The under is 7-0 in the Rangers' last seven games overall and 4-1 in their last five on the road. Vegas has seen the under go 4-1 in their last five at home and 4-1 in their last five against teams from the Eastern Conference. Look for this one to end up falling short of the mark as the Golden Knights control play for the majority of the contest.

Prediction: Under 6.5

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New York has been a true three-outcome result on the road in the opening period of games this season. The Rangers have held the lead four times after 20 minutes, trailed four times and have been tied four times this season. Vegas has held the lead in nine of their 15 home games this season. The Golden Knights have been tied in four other contests and have trailed just twice after 20 minutes of play at home this season. That gives Vegas the upper hand after the first period here.

Prediction: 1st Period Vegas Golden Knights

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New York comes into this game with a -4 goal differential in the opening period this season on the road (16-12), so there is work to do. The Rangers have been outshot by 64 in the first period this season. The Rangers have seen an average of 2.33 goals per game in the first period of their road games. Vegas has a +9 goal differential (22-13) at home in the first period this season. That gives the Golden Knights a 2.33 goal average in the opening stanza this season. This one could easily be 1-1 or 2-1 after 20 minutes, pushing this over the total.

Prediction: 1st Period Over
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.