NHL Picks: Senators vs. Rangers Will Be Higher Scoring Than You Think

Bruce Webster

Sunday, December 6, 2015 6:16 PM GMT

Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015 6:16 PM GMT

The Senators will be looking to build off a solid win over CHI, while the NYR's come in off a loss to COL. The road team has taken 21 of 28 games in this series.

Ottawa Senators (13-7-2-3 SU, 11-14 PL, 13-12 OU) vs New York Rangers (17-7-1-2 SU,14-13 PL, 9-14-4 OU)
When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, December 6, 2015
Where: Madison Square Garden in New York
NHL Odds: New York -171/ Ottawa +154
Total: 5

 

Offense + Little Defense = High Scoring Games
Well that’s what has happened of late anyway. After their 4-3 OT win over Chicago their last five games have each gone over the total, with those games averaging 7.2 gpg. This actually hasn’t been a recent thing as the Senators have been a strong offensive team all year, while their play in the crease has been bad. Ottawa comes in ranked 5th in the league in scoring, putting up 3.2 gpg on the year and in their last five games they have averaged 4.2 gpg. They also have a solid power play, converting on 22.4% of their chances, which is 5th in the league. 

On defense they have had their struggles this year as they have allowed 2.9 gpg on the year which is 22nd in the league. They also rank dead last in shots allowed (34.2 spg) and 20th in penalty kill (79.3%). In their last five games they have allowed 3.8 gpg, which comes on the heels of throwing back-to-back shutouts at Philadelphia and Columbus. Craig Anderson is slated to start Saturday at home vs the Islanders and it is unclear who will get the start in this game as Andrew Hammond has been sidelined with a concussion.   

 

Rangers Wondering where the Offense went
The Rangers have been one of the better offensive teams in the league all year so far and do come into this game ranked 8th in scoring, putting up 2.8 gpg, but lately it has been a struggle for this team to score. Rangers are coming off a pair of 2-1 losses to the Islanders and Avalanche and they have now scored one goal or less in four of their last six games. That is not what this team is used to. Scoring for the Rangers in the loss to the Avs was Oscar Lindberg, which was his 10th of the year.

The offense isn’t the only issue for the Rangers of late as their play in goal has not been good during this stretch in which they have lost five of six games, allowing 3.2 gpg over that stretch. Despite the recent stretch the Rangers are still tops in the league in goals allowed, giving up just 1.9 gpg and that is despite the fact that they are 27th in shots allowed. Their penalty kill has also been solid as they rank 7th in that department. Getting the start in goal tonight should be Henrik Lundqvist, who is 13-8 with a 2.04 GAA on the year, while vs the Senators he is 14-19 with a 2.12 GAA i his career.    

 

Ottawa is:
1-5 in their last six games playing on 0 days rest
0-5 in their last five Sunday games

New York is:
10-3 in their last 13 home games
70-33 in their last 103 overall

This has not been a good series for the Rangers over the years, but they have won five of the last seven vs the Sens and they will take on an Ottawa  team that is playing with no rest, while the Rangers have had two days off to stew over the back-to-back losses to the Islanders and Blue Jackets. Great spot here for the Rangers to get back on track and for us to enjoy the ride with our NHL Picks.

NHL Pick: Senators vs. Rangers OVER 5.5 (+128) at 5Dimes

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