3/6/2008 7:05:00 PM
The last five meetings between the Rangers and Islanders on Long Island have averaged 3.80 goals, and the Under is 20-9-1 in the last 30 Rangers division games.
The Under is 4-0-1 the last five times that the New York Rangers and the New York Islanders have met on Long Island with those games averaging just a combined 3.80 goals, and we look for another low scoring affair here.
[articleBanner]who2beton[/articleBanner]Now granted, Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro is questionable for this start after the death of his grandmother last week, but backup Wade Dubielewicz has shined in his absence, losing a tough 1-0 decision to Florida Panthers on Sunday before beating these Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday. No matter who is in net, the Under is an incredible 23-9-3 in all Islanders home games this season with those games averaging a only 4.89 goals combined, as well as 47-20-4 in their last 71 home games going back to last season.
Henrik Lundqvist is expected to take the start for the Rangers, and we expect him to bounce back strong here after a rare off night on Tuesday when he allowed three goals in regulation time on just 18 shots. Lundqvist still has a nice 2.37 GAA for the season though with a .907 save percentage, and he had always played well vs. the Islanders in the past prior to that last contest.
Finally, the Rangers tend to play closer to the vest when playing inside the division with the Under going 20-9-1 in their last 30 Atlantic Division games, and we expect that tendency to continue.
Free Pick: Rangers, Islanders Under 5 (+120)