Vancouver Canucks vs. New York Rangers Free Preview 10/20/19

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Madison Square Garden will play host to an intriguing showdown as the Vancouver Canucks take on the New York Rangers. This cross-continent matchup will get started at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, October 20, and it will be televised live on Sportsnet.

Vancouver Canucks vs. New York Rangers Odds

New York comes into the matchup as the favorite with a moneyline of -135. The line for Vancouver now stands at +115, and the Over/Under (O/U) is set at an even 6 goals (-120 money on the over, +100 on the under).

Vancouver is 4-3 straight up (SU) and has earned moneyline bettors 2.8 units this year. That early-season SU winning percentage is a welcomed improvement over the 35-47 record from the 2018-19 season campaign. Through seven regular season contests, three of its games have gone under the total, while two have gone over and just one has pushed. As the away team this season, the Nucks are 1-3 SU.

Vancouver has scored on 12.9 percent of its power play opportunities so far. That’s a noticeable drop-off from last year, when it was ranked 22nd in the league by converting on 17.1 percent of its extra-man advantages. Its penalty kill has gotten stronger year-over-year, however, as the team has gone from successfully defending 81.1 percent of all opponent power plays (ranked 10th overall last year) to 91.7 percent this year.

For the team as a whole, Vancouver has been penalized 4.4 times per game during the 2019-20 season, a number that’s jumped some from the 3.5 penalties per game given up last year. After serving an average of 8.8 penalty minutes per game a season ago the team has been forced to kill penalties for 10.4 minutes per outing this year.

With a .926 save percentage and 28.3 saves per game, Jacob Markstrom (2-2) has been the best option in goal for Vancouver this season. If it chooses to rest him, however, Vancouver could go with Thatcher Demko (2-1 record, .943 save percentage, 1.64 goals against average).

J.T. Miller and Alexander Edler will both lead the offensive attack for the visiting Canucks. Miller (eight points) is up to four goals and four assists this season while Edler has three goals and three assists to his name through the early stages of the regular season.

On the other side of the ice, New York is 2-3 straight up (SU) and has lost 1.3 units for moneyline bettors thus far. Through five regular season contests, three of its games have gone over the total, while two have gone under and none have pushed. This season, the team is 1-1 SU as the home team.

New York has scored on 21.1 percent of its power plays this year after converting on 19.5 percent (ranked 17th in league) last season. It has killed off an impressive 78.3 percent of all penalties, compared to 78.1 percent in 2018-19 (when it was ranked 27th in the NHL).

The Rangers have been penalized 5.4 times per game this season. Last year, that number was at 4.1, the highest mark in the league. After serving an average of 10.4 penalty minutes per game a season ago the team has had to stave off opponent power plays for 12.0 minutes per matchup this year.

Henrik Lundqvist has denied 31.7 shots per game as the top choice in goal for New York. Lundqvist has one win and two losses and has registered a pedestrian 3.73 goals against average and a subpar .896 save percentage this year.

Mika Zibanejad (four goals, six assists) will pace the offensive attack for NY.

Vancouver Canucks at New York Rangers Betting Predictions

NHL Tip: SU Winner – Rangers, O/U – Over

Betting Notes

  • For both of these clubs, the total has gone over in three of their last five games.
  • The Canucks are 2-0 SU in games where they serve more penalty minutes than their opponent while the Rangers are 2-1 SU when they spend more time in the box than their opponent.
  • After posting a 6-6 record in games decided by a shootout last year, Vancouver is off to a 2-0 start in shootouts this season. New York went 6-5 in shootouts last year and has yet to participate in one this time around.
  • Vancouver skaters ranked 27th last year with 6.5 takeaways per game, but the team appears to be applying more pressure on opposing offenses to begin this season. It’s currently ranked eighth with 8.6 takeaways per contest.