Nashville Predators (+107) at New York Islanders (-118, 5.5 o/u)
Two of the best teams in the NHL will clash tonight as the Western Conference-leading Nashville Predators travel to Long Island to face the New York Islanders at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum (7:00 p.m. Eastern).
The Predators have 84 points on the year and have won eight of their last ten games, stretching their lead to six in the Western Conference (over second-place St. Louis). Last time out, Nashville thumped San Jose, 5-1. Goalie Pekka Rinne – the mid-season favorite for league MVP – made 42 saves for the W.
“You just stay focused and just worry about that next shot,” said Rinne after the win. “You don’t want to get caught with making a highlight save and then kind of stop playing, so that’s the last mistake I want to make.”
The Islanders are the second-best team in East with 77 points, just one behind the conference leaders, Montreal. Jack Capuano’s squad is coming off a 4-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday. Rebounding with a win was crucial after the Islanders let a two-goal third-period lead slip away at home against the Rangers on Monday.
“I don’t think you want to get in a spiral, losing two, three, four in a row,” Islanders’ right winger Michael Grabner said after beating Carolina. “It’s nice to get back the two points, put that behind us and move on.”
The moneyline has the Islanders as slight favorites, listed at -118 compared to +107 for the Preds. The game total is at 5.5 goals.
Nashville has won eight of the last nine games against New York, and the Preds at +107 looks like better value tonight.
(Photo credit: Robert Kowal (Flickr: John Tavares) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo may appear cropped.)