New York Islanders (+109) at Vancouver Canucks (-120)
Two teams that have all the pieces to get to the playoffs will meet tonight when the New York Islanders (26-12-1, 53 pts) visit the Vancouver Canucks (22-12-3, 47 pts) at Rogers Arena (10:00 p.m. Eastern).
The Canucks have won four of their last six games overall, beating Calgary, Arizona, San Jose, and Detroit, while falling to Anaheim (in OT) and Los Angeles.
Vancouver’s 4-1 victory over Detroit saw goalie Ryan Miller get his 20th win of the season while recording 29 saves. Captain Henrik Sedin notched his seventh and eighth goals of the year.
“The last two, three weeks it’s felt really good,” Henrik told the league’s official website after the Detroit game. “It’s been tough to not get the amount of power plays we want, but tonight we got four and sometimes that’s what you need to start feeling the puck and make plays.”
The win against the Red Wings was a huge bounce-back game for the team, which blew a 2-1 lead late in the third period against the division-rival Kings in its previous outing.
The Islanders will be a good test for the Canucks as New York is tied (with Pittsburgh) for the lead in the Metropolitan Division of the Eastern Conference.
The Islanders’ most recent outing didn’t go according to plan, however, as the team lost 5-2 to the NHL’s worst team, the Edmonton Oilers. The loss to the Oilers was even more surprising given that New York came in hot, winning three straight over Washington, Winnipeg, and Calgary.
“I thought we had some guys that were downright pretty bad,” coach Jack Capuano said of his team’s effort against Edmonton. “We were physical, we did a lot of good things, but at the end of the day it’s about execution and there are some guys that need to look in the mirror.”
The Canucks are a -120 favorite in the moneyline, while the Islanders are +109 to pull the upset. Vancouver is 8-3 SU in its last 11 games at home against the Islanders.
(Photo credit: Hockey Broad [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo may appear cropped.)