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Today’s featured NHL betting preview: New York Rangers (33-16-5, 71 pts) @ New York Islanders (37-18-1, 75 pts); Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, NY; Tuesday, February 17, 11.10am
The random nature of derby match-ups gives the New York Rangers some hope of upsetting their crosstown rivals tonight, but they’ll head into a sold-out Nassau Coliseum as significant underdogs. The New York Islanders are 3-0-0 against the Rangers this season with a 13-4 goal differential. They have won all three games by three goals, including a 4-1 triumph at home on January 27. The Rangers are at their best when they’re breaking out of their own zone with speed and tape-to-tape passing but it’s a game style that the Islanders have used equally effectively against their rivals. The Islanders can post a season high-tying fifth straight win while the Rangers have won three straight – all on the road. The Islanders have captured all 11 home games against division opponents, and have taken 11 straight against Metropolitan foes since a 5-2 defeat at Washington on November 28.
The Islanders have enjoyed great balance in the season series, with five skaters registering at least three points. Defenseman Johnny Boychuk has a team-high four. Rangers star Rick Nash has scored half of his team’s goals against the Islanders, and he is in a tight race with the Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin for the league lead with 35 overall. The problem for his club is that no other skater has more than one point against the Islanders. Nash and Islanders captain John Tavares have each amassed 55 points for the season. Nash has six in a three-game run while Tavares had two goals and two assists in Saturday’s 6-3 home win over Columbus. Islanders’ goalie Jaroslav Halak has won five straight starts over the Rangers and can increase his career-high victory total to 32, which would match the franchise record shared by Billy Smith, Chris Osgood and Rick DiPietro.
Confirmed bets (card finalised)
New York Rangers @ New York Islanders WIN (one unit @ $1.73) – the Rangers have dominated the Islanders in recent times with much of that success due to goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who is 29-15-5 against NYI with a 2.22 GAA and .921 save percentage. But there’s no Lundqvist here so back-up Cam Talbot gets the call. He’s posted a 2.68 GAA and .904 save percentage so far in February. It’s interesting to note that the road team has won eight of the past 10 in this series, but we’re comfortably going against the grain in this spot.
Edmonton Oilers @ Winnipeg Jets -1.5 (one unit @ $2.24) – the Jets’ locker room is a much happier place after they shipped Evander Kane to Buffalo. In return, it took only two games for Winnipeg to reap the dividends of the blockbuster trade. Acquisitions Drew Stafford and defenseman Tyler Myers playing pivotal roles as the Jets rallied for a 5-4 victory at Detroit on Saturday. The Oilers are 2-3 on this road-trip but coughed up a 7-2 loss in Ottawa two nights after upsetting Montreal. The home side is 5-2 in the past seven meetings between these sides.
Boston Bruins WIN @ Calgary Flames (one unit @ $1.75) – Boston ended January on a 8-1-1 run to seize a firm grip on the final post-season slot in the East but have dropped four of five this month while managing just 10 goals. The Flames have won 10 of 14 but are trying to hold off the red-hot Minnesota Wild and the resurgent Los Angeles Kings in the West. We’re going with the road team here – they’re 4-0 after losing three in a row and have won the past five in this series.
Carolina Hurricanes @ Ottawa Senators -5.5 (one unit @ $1.77) – after starting the month with just one goal in each of their three losses, the Senators scored 13 times in the next three (2-0-1) to keep their flickering post-season chances alive. The Senators have struggled mightily against the Hurricanes, who improved to 12-3-3 in the last 18 meetings with a 3-2 triumph on January 17. The ‘under’ is 4-0-1 in the past five match-ups played in Ottawa and 7-1-1 overall in the past nine meetings. Carolina is 16-30 O/U for the season.
Today’s other games
Montreal Canadiens @ Detroit Red Wings
Arizona Coyotes @ Colorado Avalanche
Minnesota Wild @ Vancouver Canucks
Tampa Bay Lightning @ Los Angeles Kings
Most recent results: 1-0-1, -0.36 units; overall record: 154-8-123, +28.50 units
Philadelphia Flyers @ Buffalo Sabres WIN (one unit @ $2.53) LOSE (2-1)
St Louis Blues WIN @ Florida Panthers (one unit @ $1.64) WIN (2-1)
• Selections are listed in three categories – 1) Suggested (likely bet but yet to be finalised); 2) Confirmed (locked in at the price listed); and 3) Leans (tips, but not recommended bets); all times quoted are Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT); prices with thanks to Pinnaclebet.com.au (except where markets are not available), correct at time of publication. Results/comments on today’s games/races will follow in the next post.