New York Islanders at New York Rangers - 1/14/21 NHL Picks and Prediction

New York Islanders at New York Rangers - 1/14/21 NHL Picks and Prediction Photo by Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

New York Rangers (0-0) vs New York Islanders (0-0)

Game Info: Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 7:00 pm (Madison Square Garden)

Betting Odds: New York Rangers -110 / New York Islanders -110 --- Over/Under: 6 Click Here for the Latest Odds

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The New York Islanders and the New York Rangers meet in NHL action from Madison Square Garden on Thursday night.

The New York Islanders come into the 2021 season looking to build on an impressive 2019-20 campaign that saw the Islanders havet heir share of ups and downs in the regular season, finishing with a record of 35-23-10, good for 5th in the Metropolitan division and 7th in the Eastern Conference, defeating the Panthers in the qualifying round with series wins over Washington and Philadelphia in the first two rounds before being taken out by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the conference finals in six games. The Isles locked up a big piece of their future long term-, signing Mathew Barzal to a contract extension while guys like Johnny Boychuk decided to hit the road. Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Anthony Beauvillier have big things expected from them this season, but speaking of big things the Islanders unveiled their goaltender of the future, bringing in Ilya Sorokin from the KHL and it appears that Sorokin is ready to start from the word go and brings all of the potential and proven numbers behind him. Only time will tell if the Sorokin era goes off without a hitch or if we jumped the gun on the Isles’ new stud.

The New York Rangers come into the 2021 campaign looking to take the next step forward after finishing 2019-20 in 7th in the Metropolitan and 11th in the Eastern Conference, but because of the expanded playoffs, the Rangers got an invite to participate for the first time since the 2016-17 season but were pushed out by the Carolina Hurricanes in the qualifying rounds. Artemi Panarin is back for the Rangers after logging a team-high 95 points last year with 63 assists while Mike Zibanejad had a team-high 41 goals as part of his 75-point season. The Rangers also made a big splash through the draft, winning the draft lottery and selecting Alexis LaFreniere 1st overall and looks to be every bit the star he’s projected to be. With Panarin at his side, it almost seems like the sky is the limit for Lafreniere from the beginning. Igor Shesterkin is tasked with leading the Rangers in goal after going 10-2 in the regular season with a 2.52 GAA and .932 save percentage but it didn’t translate to the playoffs as Shesterkin and now ex-Ranger Henrik Lundqvist both struggled. The Rangers could be a team to watch over the course of the season if they get out of the blocks on the right foot.

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The Islanders are 1-5 in their last 6 Thursday games while the under is 3-1-1 in their last 5 games overall. The Rangers are 0-4 in their last 4 games overall and 1-4 in their alst 5 home games while the over is 6-1 in their last 7 Thursday games. The over is 4-1-1 in the last 6 meetings between these two teams at MSG.

I’ve gone back and forth on this game as I think we’re going to have a goaltender of the future battle between Sorokin and Shesterkin and I think this is a tight game from start to finish and as much as I like the talent on both sides, I think the goaltending leads the day here so I’ll take the under as my free pick for this game, but my stronger play is on the side and I have that available as a premium pick that you can find here.

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

Mitch's Take...

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