Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#31 N.Y. Rangers vs.
#32 N.Y. Islanders
Friday, April 9, 2021 at 7:05pm EDT
Barclays Center , Brooklyn
Written by Chris Kubala

This article covers a past game!

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It’s a battle of teams from the Big Apple on the ice as a pair of East Division teams do battle on Long Island. The New York Rangers make the crosstown trip to face the New York Islanders Friday night. Thursday night, the Rangers were at home, closing out a two-game set with the Penguins. They picked up an 8-4 home victory Tuesday night in their previous contest. The Islanders were at home against the Flyers Thursday night. In their previous game, they blanked the Capitals by a 1-0 count at home Tuesday night. This season, the Islanders have won two of three meetings, including a 2-0 triumph on the road February 8 in the most recent matchup. The road team has won all three matchups by shutout this season.

New York Rangers Hoping to Gain Ground in East Division Playoff Race

New York doubled up Pittsburgh in their previous contest heading into Thursday night and seek to gain ground in the East Division playoff picture. The Rangers entered Thursday tied for fifth in the East Division, 13 points behind the division-leading Capitals and Islanders while they were five points back of Boston for the final playoff spot. New York is above average offensively this season as they average 3.26 goals per contest, leaving them tied for 7th in the league in goals per game. The Rangers are 11th in the league in goals against per game as they give up 2.66 goals a night. New York is sputtering with the man advantage as they convert just 19.7% of their chances on the power play, which is 19th in the league. The Rangers are solid in the penalty-killing department as they successfully navigate 84.6% of their shorthanded situations, putting them fifth in the league.

In Tuesday’s game, the Rangers got their offensive attack going and that proved to be more than enough to get the victory. The opening period saw New York outshot 18-11 but they took a 4-1 lead to the dressing room after 20 minutes of play. Colin Blackwell opened the scoring with his 10th of the year at 1:35 off assists from Jacob Trouba and Artemi Panarin. Mika Zibanejad made it a 2-0 game with his 13th of the year at 7:28 off an assist from Pavel Buchnevich. Panarin extended to a 3-0 advantage with his 12th of the season, on the power play, at 9:58 off assists from Adam Fox and Chris Kreider. After allowing a goal to trim the lead to 3-1, Ryan Strome tallied his 12th of the year, on the power play, at 19:42 off assists from Fox and Panarin to make it a three-goal margin. In the second period, the Rangers were outshot 13-7 with each team scoring once, making it a 5-2 game after 40 minutes. Alexis Lafreniere scored his sixth of the year at 12:20 off assists from Kaapo Kakko and Filip Chityl. The Penguins scored 16 seconds later to get back within three goals. In the third period, New York was outshot 14-7 but outscored Pittsburgh 3-2 to close out the win. Kakko scored his sixth of the year, on the power play, at 6:10 off assists from Blackwell and Trouba to make it a 6-2 game. After the Penguins made it a three-goal game again, Fox scored his fifth of the year, shorthanded, at 10:22 off assists from Strome and Zibanejad to make it 7-3. Nineteen seconds later, at 10:41, Buchnevich scored his 15th of the year off assists from Chytil and Panarin. The Rangers gave up a goal later in the period but it didn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. Igor Shesterkin made 41 saves for New York, who was outshot 45-25, in the victory. Alexandar Georgiev is expected to get the start in goal for this contest.

New York Islanders Seeking to Prevail at Home

New York was in action at home against Philadelphia Thursday night trying to stay hot. The Islanders entered Thursday tied with Washington for the top spot in the East Division. In the playoff picture, the team stood 13 points clear of fifth-place Philadelphia and New York to remain in the playoff picture. New York is 15th in goals for as they average 2.95 goals per contest this season. The Islanders are second in the league in goals-against as they allow 2.28 goals a night. New York stands 22nd with the man advantage as they convert 18.9% of their power-play chances this season. The Islanders are 11th in the league in penalty killing as they successfully navigate 80.6% of their shorthanded situations.

In their game with the Capitals Tuesday night, the Islanders’ defense and goaltending did the job as they came up with the low-scoring victory to move into a tie for the top spot in the East Division. The opening period saw New York with a 12-7 edge in shots on goal with neither side lighting the lamp, leaving the game scoreless after 20 minutes of play. In the second period, the Islanders were outshot by a 12-7 margin with no one scoring once again, leaving things scoreless after 40 minutes. The final period saw New York with a 20-10 shot advantage and they tallied the lone goal to earn the victory. Brock Nelson scored the lone goal of the game, his 14th of the season, at 13:05 off assists from Josh Bailey and Ryan Pulock. The Islanders made that marker stand up for the win. Semyon Varlamov made 29 saves for New York, who held a 39-29 shot advantage, in the victory. Ilya Sorokin is projected to get the start in goal for this contest.

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The Islanders made a move on Wednesday, acquiring Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac from the Devils for A.J. Greer, Mason Jobst, the Islanders 1st round pick in 2021 and a conditional fourth-round pick in 2022. That move should help bolster the Islanders since Anders Lee was lost for the season. Both teams are playing the second game of a back-to-back and their third game in four nights here so fatigue will take a toll. The Islanders are very good at shutting down opposing teams and they are dominant on home ice, posting a 16-1-1-1 mark entering Thursday night. As it stands, the Rangers still have work to do but they don’t have the ability to shut teams down like the Islanders. Give the edge to the hosts in this contest.

Prediction: New York Islanders -130

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New York has been an under machine in the first two-plus months of the season as the under go 21-15-2 in their games so far this year. The Rangers have seen a total of 5.92 goals per game in their contests this season. That number slips down to 5.60 goals a night in their home games this season. New York has seen the under go 22-16-1 in their 39 games on the books. The Islanders have an average total of 5.23 goals per game on the year. That number climbs up to 5.79 goals a night as the road team this season. On the season, the teams have combined for four, five and two goals. The under is 6-3-1 in the last 10 meetings, including each of the three matchups this year. Look for this one to wind up under the mark.

Prediction: Under 5.5

Written By Chris Kubala , "Chris Kubala"

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