Image for Max Heering Max Heering - December 22, 2022

New York Islanders vs New York Rangers: Rangers Look for Revenge Against Islanders

  • The New York Islanders have lost four of their last five games.

  • The New York Rangers have won seven of their last eight games.

  • The Islanders were 2-0-0 against the Rangers last season.

New York Rangers vs New York Islanders Odds

Odds Taken from FanDuel Sportsbook.

Team

Spread

Total

New York Islanders

+1.5

BET HERE

O 5.5

BET HERE

New York Rangers

-1.5

BET HERE

U 5.5

BET HERE

New York Islanders vs New York Rangers Predictions and Picks

New York Rangers beat New York Islanders 4-2

New York Rangers cover

Over 5.5  goals

Islanders vs Rangers Predictions

Head-to-Head: New York Islanders vs New York Rangers

New York Islanders

Head-to-Head

New York Rangers

Lane Lambert

Head Coach

Gerard Gallant

18-13-2 (5th in Metropolitan Division)

Standing

18-11-5 (4th in Metropolitan Division)


Leaders 


Brock Nelson (33)

Points

Artemi Panarin (40)

Brock Nelson (15)

Goals

Chris Kreider (16)

Mathew Barzal (27)

Assists

Artemi Panarin (32)

Adam Pelech (12)

+/-

Ryan Lindgren (13)

Noah Dobson (2.97)

Shots (Per Game)

Mika Zibanejad (3.82)

New York Islanders vs New York Rangers Predictions and Picks

The New York Islanders will travel to Manhattan to face the New York Rangers. This is the third and final time these teams face each other this season. The Islanders won the first two battles, and the Rangers are looking for revenge. These teams are also very close to each other in the standings. The Rangers are in the first Wild Card spot with 41 points, and the Islanders are in the second Wild Card spot with 38 points.

The Islanders are not having an excellent season but are exceeding expectations. They missed the playoffs last year but will likely make it this year. The Islanders have a decent offense and defense, but their real strength is their goaltending. Their goaltending duo of Ilya Sorokin and Semyon Varlamov have performed quite well while facing over 32 shots a game.

The Islanders have a talented squad led by Brock Nelson, Mathew Barzal, Anders Lee, and Noah Dobson. Nelson can pass but is primarily a goal-scorer; he leads the Islanders with 15 goals. Barzal is a pass-first player. His 27 assists lead the Islanders. Lee and Dobson can do a little bit of everything, and each have ten goals. Their numbers are not as impressive as Nelson’s and Barzal’s, but they are still threats on the ice.

Ilya Sorokin and Semyon Varlamov are the Islanders’ netminders. Sorokin is the starter, but Varlamov could be a starter on other teams. These two combine for 2.73 goals against average and a .923 save percentage.

The Rangers are performing at a similar level to last season. Igor Shesterkin continues to dominate in the net, and Adam Fox defensively leads the charge. Offensively, the Rangers have plenty of scorers and can score four or more goals a night.

The Rangers’ roster is full of talented players, but Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad, Adam Fox, Vincent Trochek, and Chris Kreider lead the way. I will not get into each player’s individual stats, but I will say this. All five of these players have at least 26 points and play over 19 minutes a game.

The Rangers do not have an excellent goaltending duo, but they have an excellent goaltender in Igor Shesterkin. Shesterkin has dominated this season and has a 16-5-4 record. His save percentage of .918 is not in the top ten, but the Rangers win when he is net.

The Islanders may have won the first two games this season, but the Rangers will win this battle. They are surging as the Islanders are slumping. In addition, the Rangers have a home-ice advantage.

Why Might the New York Islanders Win?

The Islanders are the underdogs but will win if they avoid committing penalties and pass to Mathew Barzal.

The Islanders have an unimpressive power play unit but are facing a Rangers squad with a top-half power play unit. The Rangers convert over 23% of their power play opportunities. The Islanders cannot allow this unit on the ice. They must play smart hockey and keep them off the ice.

Mathew Barzal is not much of a scorer, but his value comes from his passing. Barzal is a gifted passer, and his 27 assists are tied for the seventh-most in the NHL. The Islanders’ offense should be based around Barzal, allowing him to find his teammates and set them up with scoring opportunities.

Why Might the New York Rangers Win?

The Rangers are the favorites but will only win if they score the first goal and play aggressive defense.

I realize both of these teams play in New York, but there will likely be significantly more Rangers fans in the stands. The Rangers need to use their fans to their advantage and give them energy by scoring first.

In addition to scoring the first goal, the Rangers also need to play aggressive defense. This is for two reasons. Aggressive defense sets the tone and hypes up the crowd. Nothing gets a crowd on their feet more than a big hit.

Islanders Key Players: (C) Brock Nelson

This is the most obvious choice. Brock Nelson is having the best offensive season and is an efficient scorer; he converts on over 15% of his shots. 

Nelson must do two things in this game. He must look for his shot and call for the puck. When he has the puck in his hands, good things happen.

Rangers Key Player: (LW) Chris Kreider

Chris Kreider is not performing quite as well as he did last season. However, he is still having a good season and is dangerous with the puck. Kreider has 16 goals and ten assists, but more importantly, he is coming off a two-goal game against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday.

Kreider took five shots against the Penguins. He must do the same thing today. Kreider should keep on shooting and make life difficult for the Islanders’ goaltenders.

How to Watch New York Islanders vs New York Rangers

  • What: New York Islanders vs New York Rangers

  • Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York

  • When: Thursday, December 22, 7:00 PM EST

  • How to Watch: NHLPP, ESPN+

Image for Max Heering

AUTHOR

Max Heering

222 Articles

Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]

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