Tonight Talbot faces an Islanders team that's a goal scoring machine led by John Tavares, he and the Isles have owned the Rangers this season. Does the trend continue or does Talbot keep beasting?
Ice time for tonight's game is set for 7:00 pm ET at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, Long Island. NHL odds has the Islanders as a -115 betting favorite and the total for the game is listed at 5.5 goals.
This game will be a dogfight as these two teams don't like eachother. Thus far this season, the Islanders have gotten the best of the Rangers, winning 3 out of 4 games. John Tavares has scored 3 goals in these 4 games while Rangers star, Rick Nash, has been out-dueled. The question is "Will Cam Talbot, who is playing out of this world, with a save percentage of .965 in his last 16 games, turn the tides in favor of the Blueshirts?"
I received an update on starting goalies where the Isles are concerned and Jaroslav Halak is the "likely" goaltender in net tonight and that's just fine with them. Halak has been a beast himself with a 34-13-1 record and a 2.48 GAA. Halak hasn't played since March 5th and the rest will do him well as the Rangers are 4th in the NHL at 3 goals per game.
Last time, I wrote about a matchup of these two teams, I focused on the matchup between Tavares and Rick Nash, but in reality, there hasn't been much of one as Tavares has owned the Rangers along with owning the rest of the NHL.
He leads the Isles with 33 goals and 39 assists. He's also coming off of a 4-3 overtime win over Toronto in which he scored the game winning goal.
As I stated earlier, Tavares has faired well against the Rangers with 3 goals and 1 assists in their 4 previous meetings. In his last 3 games alone, Tavares has 3 goals and 4 assists. This guy is the franchise and is the best way for the Islanders to get to the Stanley Cup. The kicker is that he's only 24 years old and if he stays healthy, we will see a lot more of this dominant player who has led the Islanders from the basement to the top of the division.
Tavares will be tested tonight as he faces a goalie in Cam Talbot who is just as hot as he is. Thus far, he's tackled all challenges along the way. This is going to be a great matchup.
A Memorable Game
When you've beaten the Chicago Blackhawks in their building, it's memorable enough. For the Rangers and Derick Brassard, it's even more memorable as the Blueshirts defeated the Blackhawks 1-0 in overtime in with a Brassard goal. I expect Brassard to carry that momentum.into this game. He's flying high with 3 points in his last 3 games and 51 points for the season isn't too shabby.
Time To Step Up
Rick Nash has had a huge season as he has an outside shot for 50 goals. He's been the main reason why the Rangers have a chance to get back to the Stanley Cup Finals for a 2nd straight season. In his way are the Islanders and John Tavares. Nash has the defensive backing with Talbot in net. This is his moment to shine. The setting is perfect as its the last regular season game that the Rangers will ever play in this building. Can Rick Nash deliver and turn the tables in a matchup in which he's been outplayed this season? We will see tonight.
Free NHL Pick: Rangers -105 at The Greek