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Friday evening pucks and the Atlantic Division will square off with the Metro Division as the Ottawa Senators grapple with the New York Islanders at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The Sens enter this contest off a 4-0 home loss to the Capitals, while the Islanders are off a 3-1 road win over the Stars. The Islanders took two of the three meetings last year.
The Offense Continues To Struggle For The Sens
There was a time this year when the Ottawa offense was ranked in the top three in the league in scoring, but that offense has been in steady decline of late. Ottawa comes in off a 4-0 home loss to the Capitals and they have now averaged just 2.00 gpg over their last 10 games. That will not get it done in the league these days, especially since they have not been able to stop teams from putting the pucks in the net. No offense and the worst gpg allowed average in the league is why the Sens are at 15-22 on the year and in the basement of the Atlantic Division. Leading the team in goals has been Mark Stone with 16, while 2nd is Matt Duchene with 14 and 3rd is Ryan Dzingel with 13.
— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) December 27, 2018
Absorbing the loss to the Capitals was Mike McKenna, who allowed four goals on 33 shot attempts to fall to 1-4 with a 3.79 GAA and a .902 save percentage on the year, while out on the road he has gone 1-2 with a 4.40 GAA and a .888 save percentage. In his career, he has gon 1-1 with a 1.22 GAA against the Islanders. We may see Craig Anderson (Questionable) and he has gone 14-16 with a 3.58 GAA and a .905 save percentage on the year, including 3-9 with a 4.32 GAA and a .886 save percentage on the road. In his career, he has gone 8-10 with a 2.52 GAA against the Islanders. The Senators enter this game ranked 11th in the league in scoring at 3.19 gpg while allowing 3.89 gpg, which is 31st in the league.
Islanders Grab Nice Road Win Against The Stars
The New York Islanders have been playing well of late as they come in having won four of their last five games. New York is now in 4th place in the Metro Division and just seven points out of first. The Islanders enter off a nice 3-1 road win over the Dallas Stars and they have been very solid in the crease of late as the Isles have now allowed just 2.00 gpg over their last eight games. That could play well for them in this one as the Senators have struggled to score of late. The Stars took a 1-0 lead on the Isles, but it was all New York after that. Scoring in the win was Casey Cizikas, which was his 9th of the year, Anders Lee, which was his 13th and Leo Komarov, which was his 4th.
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) December 24, 2018
Snatching up the win against the Stars was Robin Lehner, who stopped 19 of the 20 shots that he faced to move to 6-9 with a 2.44 GAA and a .919 save percentage on the year, while here at home, he has gone 1-3 with a 2.17 GAA and a .924 save percentage. In his career, he has gone 6-3 with a 1.70 GAA against the Senators. We may see Thomas Greiss in this one and he has gone 12-8 with a 2.53 GAA and a .920 save percentage on the year, including 7-5 with a 2.59 GAA and a .910 save percentage here at home. In his career, he has gone 3-1 with a 3.48 GAA against the Sens. The Islanders enter this game ranked 23rd in the league in scoring at 2.83 gpg while allowing 2.71 gpg, which is 3rd in the league.
New York is:
- 11-5 in their last 16 vs. a team with a losing record
- The Under is 12-3-1 in their last 16 overall
- 9-23 in their last 32 games following a loss of 3 or more goals
- 12-41 in their last 53 road games.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I will be siding with the Rangers in this one as the Sens have been a complete mess on the road this year. The DSens have gone just 4-13 on the road this year and they have allowed 4.76 gpg in those games, while the Islanders have allowed just 2.63 gpg at home. The Isles have won four of their last five games and they have allowed just 2.00 gp[g over their last eight games. The Sens had their offense going earlier in the year, but they have averaged just 2.0 gpg over their last 19 games. Ottawa is at a disadvantage in the crease and they don’t have the offense to make up for it. Take the Islanders.
Prediction: New York
Full-Game Total Pick
I will look for this one to go Under the Total. The Islanders are not a great offensive team, but they have been solid in the crease as they have allowed just 2.63 gpg at home and 2.00 gpg in their last eight overall. That plays well into the fact that the Sens have averaged just 2.00 gpg over their last 10 games. The Isles will get their goals, but the Sens will not score enough for this one to go Over the total. The Under is 4-1-1 in Ottawa’s last six after scoring two goals or less in their previous game and 10-3 in New York’s last 13 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400.
Half-Time Side Pick
The New York Islanders have been playing well of late as they have won four of their last five games and they will ride that momentum early in this one against an Ottawa team that is just 4-13 on the road so far. This one will not start pretty for the Sens.
Prediction: New York -157
Half-Time Total Bet
I like the Under in this game but will take the Over in the First period. New York’s home games have averaged just 5.51 gpg, but the first period in their home games have averaged 1.75 gpg. Ottawa’s first periods on the road have averaged 2.00 gpg. Take the Over in the first of this one, but still, take the Under for the game.
Prediction: Over 1.5 (First Period)