Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#71 N.Y. Islanders Islanders 5.5 vs.
#72 Colorado Avalanche -155
Wednesday, February 19, 2020 at 10:05pm EST
Pepsi Center, Denver
Written by The Admiral

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New York Islanders vs. Colorado Avalanche

NHL: Wednesday, February 19, Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado, 10:00 PM ET

The New York Islanders will wrap up their four-game road trip Wednesday night when they take on the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center. Interestingly, both New York and Colorado will try to put an end to a three-game losing streak.

These two interconference foes already met each other in January, and the Islanders outlasted the Avs 1-0 as +105 home underdogs. It was their third straight victory over Colorado, but the Islanders have lost four of their previous five contests at Pepsi Center.

The Islanders’ offensive woes continued in Arizona

The Islanders are coming off a 2-1 defeat at the Arizona Coyotes this past Monday. After failing to score in two straight losses at Nashville 5-0 and Vegas 1-0, the Islanders found the net at Gila River Arena, but it was another disappointing offensive performance by Barry Trotz’s boys. Anthony Beauvillier scored his 18th goal of the season, while Semyon Varlamov finished the game with 30 stops and a .938 save percentage.

The Islanders are 22nd in the league in goals scored per game (2.83), and that’s pretty bad for a team with playoff aspirations. Also, they are 22nd in the NHL in power-play conversion (18.2%). On the other hand, the Islanders are 7th in the league in goals against (2.71). They can count on a couple of excellent goaltenders. Semyon Varlamov is 17-11-4 with a 2.53 GAA and a .918 save percentage, while Thomas Greiss is 16-8-2 and has a 2.65 GAA and a .916 save percentage.

The Islanders are tied with the Blue Jackets for the third spot of the Metropolitan Division standings. They are only one point ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers and two points ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes. The playoff battle in the Metropolitan Division will be a nail-biter, and the Islanders need to break out of their funk as soon as possible.

The Avs couldn’t stop the furious Lightning

Colorado is coming off a 4-3 overtime defeat to the red-hot Tampa Bay Lightning who extended their streak to 11 games. The Avs won the first period 1-0 thanks to Andre Burakovsky’s power-play goal, but they collapsed in the second period, allowing the Lightning to score three straight goals. Nathan MacKinnon cut the deficit with 1:34 left on the clock in the second period, while Valeri Nichushkin tied the game midway the third period. However, the Avs couldn’t escape with a win, and Pavel Francouz allowed the fourth goal in overtime.

Philipp Grubauer (18-12-4; 2.63 GAA) suffered a lower-body injury in a 3-1 loss to the LA Kings this past weekend and will be sidelined for at least a few days. In his absence, Pavel Francouz will get a starting nod Wednesday night. Francouz is 13-5-3 on the season and has a 2.51 GAA and a .922 save percentage.

The Avalanche are 8th in the league in goals against (2.81) and are the most efficient team in the NHL alongside Tampa Bay with 3.55 goals scored per contest. Nathan MacKinnon is enjoying a wonderful season, leading the way for the Avs with 33 goals and 49 assists. Colorado sits at the third spot of the Central Division standings, just a point behind the second-place Dallas Stars and eight points ahead of the Nashville Predators and Winnipeg Jets.

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Both New York and Colorado are in crisis and desperately need to bounce back as soon as possible. Still, the Avalanche arguably look in better shape than the Islanders who have been terrible offensively over their previous three outings. The Avs battled bravely against the surging Lightning but failed to avoid their third straight loss on the home ice. They will be keen to get payback against the Islanders who are at a tight spot, playing the fourth straight contest away from home. Hereof, I’m taking the Avs’ offense over the Islanders’ defense. This should be a tight battle, so I’m going with the money line odds.

Prediction: Colorado Avalanche (-163)

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Considering the Avs and Islanders’ defense, we shouldn’t expect to see a bunch of goals at Pepsi Center on Wednesday night. Their first duel of the season saw only one goal on the scoreboard, while three of their previous four encounters in Denver went in the under. The Islanders have netted only a goal over their last three outings, while the Avs have scored six goals in their previous three showings. The stake is huge for both teams, so I think we’ll see a nervous clash. The Avs are capable of scoring a bunch of goals against anyone, but the Islanders’ defense should slow them down, so I’m going with the under on the totals.

Prediction: Under 5.5 goals (+105)
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Written By The Admiral

You want someone to show you how to make some money, then talk to the Admiral, because he is your man. He has been handicapping for many years, so the Admiral knows a thing or two on how to beat the spread and get your pockets loaded with cash. The Admiral has brought his talents to StatSalt & Winners & Whiners and will always find the best pick for you.