The 2021-22 NHL season goes on Friday, December 17, so we’re taking a closer look at the interconference showdown from Madison Square Garden in New York to get you the best Golden Knights vs. Rangers betting pick and odds.
New York meets Vegas for the first time since 2019 when the Rangers dismantled the Golden Knights 5-0 as huge +170 road underdogs on BetMGM Sportsbook. Vegas has won four of its six encounters with the Rangers since joining the NHL in 2017.
The Golden Knights play without rest
The Vegas Golden Knights will take on the Rangers on the second day of a back-to-back set. Their Thursday night’s clash against New Jersey on the road has been excluded from the analysis, as Vegas was searching for its third consecutive victory.
The Golden Knights opened their four-game road trip with a 4-1 victory over the Boston Bruins this past Tuesday. Max Pacioretty scored a couple of goals; Chandler Stephenson had three assists, while Robin Lehner posted 23 saves to grab his fourth consecutive victory.
Lehner is now 12-9-0 with a 3.05 GAA and a .906 save percentage in 2021-22. He’s expected to guard the cage Friday against the Rangers. The Golden Knights are yielding 3.07 goals per game (20th in the NHL) while tallying 3.50 in a return (4th) on a 10.5 shooting percentage (6th).
The Rangers barely avoided an upset at Arizona
The New York Rangers (19-7-3) are coming off a 3-2 road victory at the lowly Arizona Coyotes this past Wednesday. They snapped a two-game skid while handing the Yotes their sixth straight defeat. The Rangers overcame a 2-1 third-period deficit thanks to a couple of power-play goals down the stretch, while winger Artemi Panarin exited in the 2nd period due to a minor lower-body injury.
Panarin is questionable to play Friday against the Golden Knights. His eventual absence would be a kick in the teeth for New York’s offense, as Artemi has accounted for nine goals and 24 assists so far this season.
Goalie Igor Shesterkin (13-3-2; 2.05 GAA) is still recovering from a lower-body injury, so Alexandar Georgiev (5-3-1; 2.98 GAA) is expected to patrol the crease against Vegas. The Rangers are yielding only 2.55 goals per contest (5th in the league) while scoring 2.86 in a return (tied-16th) on a 10.0 shooting percentage (10th).
- 5-1 in the last six games overall
- 11-5 in the last 16 games against the Eastern Conference
- 1-4 in the last five games against Vegas
Vegas Golden Knights vs. New York Rangers Pick
The Rangers have dropped three of their last five contests, scoring just ten goals in the process and yielding 15 in a return. They miss Igor Shesterkin a lot, while Artemi Panarin’s eventual absence would be a huge blow for New York’s chances in this matchup with the in-form Golden Knights.
Vegas will have to deal with fatigue, playing on the back end of a back-to-back set. We should see a tight contest, and I’ll take the visitors because of their prolific offense. Excluding their Thursday’s game at New Jersey, the Golden Knights have scored 28 goals in their last six outings.
Pick: Take Vegas Golden Knights
The Golden Knights lean on their offense, and the over is 7-3 in their last ten games overall. On the other side, the Rangers rely on a stout defense, and the under is 6-2-1 in their previous nine outings at any location.
I’m looking for a high-scoring affair Friday at The Garden. The visitors will try to speed up things even though they’ll play without rest. That’s the best way to deal with the Rangers, who are without their starting goaltender.
Pick: Go over