New York Islanders

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Favored Rangers seek end to home-ice hex against the rival Islanders

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While the teams’ records can be thrown out when the NHL’s two city rivals meet, the New York Rangers do take a strong record in back-to-back games into their clash against the New York Islanders on Wednesday.

The Rangers, who are relying on goalie Antti Raanta to hold the fort with superstar Henrik Lundqvist (lower body injury) sidelined, are only 2-7 straight-up in their last nine home games against the Islanders, according to the OddsShark NHL Database.

However, the Rangers should have some motivation after an overtime defeat on Tuesday against the also-ran New Jersey Devils. In fact, the Rangers, home favorites for Wednesday’s game at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com, are 7-3 in their last 10 games when they were playing the second of back-to-back contests.

The Islanders, who are 33-26-12 on the season, should be ready to play desperate hockey since they have had a three-day break and are only 1-4 in their last five games. Coach Doug Weight has shuffled his lines to stimulate some offense, reuniting captain John Tavares (nine points over his last 10 games) with his regular left wing, Andrew Ladd.

The Islanders, who should have fresh legs, could also get a spark in the offensive zone from recent rookie call-up Josh Ho-Sang.

The break might also be a boon for Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss, who has an unsightly 3.46 goals-against average and .893 save percentage so far this month. Some of that can be put down to the recent play by the Islanders, who are also 3-7 in their last 10 divisional road games.

The Rangers are 45-24-4 on the season, but just 5-7 across their last 12 games, which has dropped them into fourth in the Metropolitan Division. Veteran winger Rick Nash ended a nine-game goal drought against the Devils, but has been shut out so far this season against the Islanders. The Rangers also finished the New Jersey game strongly, leveling 16 shots on goal in the third period.

Raanta is having a strong month with a 2.13 GAA and .924 save percentage. The Rangers are 1-4 in their last five divisional home games.

The total has gone under in three consecutive Islanders’ games for bettors on the NHL odds. The total has gone over in six of the last nine games where the Rangers were favored at home against the Islanders.

Watch Lightning vs. Islanders game online (livestream)

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The Tampa Bay Lightning face off against the New York Islanders in a Eastern Conference semifinals rematch.

The Islanders won the first game of last year’s playoff series before the Lightning won out to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals in five games. Nikita Kucherov and Victor Hedman each scored four goals over the series.

Here’s how to watch the game between the Lightning and Islanders:

When: 7:30 p.m. ET

Broadcast network: NBCSN

Live Stream: NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports App

Desperate Flyers face red-hot Penguins as favorites on Saturday

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The Philadelphia Flyers will try to avoid a season sweep by the Pittsburgh Penguins that could snuff out their tenuous playoff hopes when they play host to their Metropolitan Division rivals on Saturday as -123 betting favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Despite sitting outside the Eastern Conference playoff picture, Philadelphia remains in control of their own playoff destiny entering Saturday afternoon’s Penguins vs. Flyers betting matchup at Wells Fargo Center.

The Flyers are coming off a disappointing 4-3 overtime loss to Toronto on Thursday that prevented them from drawing alongside the Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings in the conference standings.

While deadlocked with Boston in the Atlantic Division standings, the Red Wings currently claim sole possession of third place, narrowly topping the Bruins in regulation and overtime wins.

However, Philly maintains one game in hand on both Boston and Detroit, who each wrap up their campaigns early on Saturday, with the Bruins battling the Ottawa Senators as -275 home chalk, and the Red Wings visiting the New York Rangers as -120 road favorites.

Philadelphia has now lost three straight, and six of their past 11 overall, according to the OddsShark NHL Database, and must also overcome a red-hot Penguins squad that has beaten them three times since January, and is currently on a torrid 14-1 run.

In the event of victories on Saturday by both Boston and Detroit, the Flyers will need to post wins against both Pittsburgh and the New York Islanders, whom they face on Sunday, to clinch a playoff berth.

Over in the Western Conference, the Anaheim Ducks will need help from the Winnipeg Jets to overtake the Los Angeles Kings and claim a fourth straight Pacific Division title.

Winnipeg visits the Kings on Saturday night as +200 underdogs, and must hand Los Angeles a loss in their regular season finale to preserve the Ducks’ shot at the division crown.

Anaheim trails the Kings by two points with two games remaining, but comes up short on tiebreakers against their crosstown rivals.

Losers in their past two games, the Ducks are pegged as -150 road favorites to end a three-game losing streak against the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday, before traveling to Washington to face the Capitals on Sunday.

Washington remains atop the Stanley Cup odds as 4/1 favorites, followed by the Kings at 7/1, the Chicago Blackhawks at 15/2, and Anaheim at 8/1. Pittsburgh joins the Dallas Stars at 9/1, while the St. Louis Blues round out the favorites with 10/1 odds.