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NHL Free Pick | Rangers at Islanders

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The Battle of New York ends for the 2021 season on Sunday when the Rangers and Islanders clash for the eighth and final time this year. Hockey bettors know the Islanders, who are currently third in the East Division, hold a 4-2 advantage so far. The teams play the seventh game in the series on April 29.
There have been three shutouts in the series thus far and the favorite has covered the spread in all but one game. That might be a factor in Saturday’s game.
Game: New York Rangers (26-18-6, 35-15 ATS) at New York Islanders (29-15-5, 25-24 ATS)
When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, May 1, 2021
Where: Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Brooklyn, New York
Current Line: OFF Total: OFF
TV Coverage: MSG Plus
Then again, it might not. The Islanders are in a bit of a funk lately winning just twice in their last seven games. The dropped three straight to division leader Washington losing a pair of 1-0 shutouts and the third 6-3.
One of the Islanders’ two wins in those last seven games did come against these very same Rangers. The Isles won 6-1 on April 20 in a game played at Nassau Coliseum.
Where the Islanders excel is on defense. They rank second in the NHL in goals against at 2.29. The only team that gives up fewer goals is Vegas. Despite losing five of the last seven, the Islanders have only given up 17 goals in those seven games. That’s right at their average of 2.29.
We crushed our last NHL pick, go take a look at our Capitals at Islanders free pick.
The Islanders have shut out the Rangers twice already, but they did allow five goals in one game and four in another.
Unlike the Islanders recent troubles, the Rangers have been rolling. They have won seven of their last nine games as they try to catch Boston for the fourth and final playoff spot in the East. The Rangers still trail the Bruins, who are 7-3 in their last 10 games.
When the two teams play on Thursday, April 29, the Rangers will be a -118 home favorite. While the outcome of Thursday’s game will have an effect, look for the Islanders to be a home favorite on Saturday.


With the Islanders recent difficulties and the Rangers recent successes, the stage is set for an epic Battle of New York. The Islanders are the better team, especially defensively. Of that, there is no question.
What must be noted though is that the Rangers have the NHL’s best record against the spread. The Rangers are 35-15 ATS this season. The Rangers are 17-8 ATS when playing on the road this year.
It should also be noted that the total has gone Under in five of the last six Islanders-Rangers games. Fewer goals typically means a closer score, which could translate into another Rangers cover.
The total has also hit in nine of the Islanders last 12 games and we already know their ability to play outstanding defense. With the way the Rangers have been playing recently, back the away team on the puck line for the cover.

NHL Free Pick: Rangers +1.5
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