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Our expert hockey handicapper Stephen Rodriguez gives his best picks for today's games

On Monday night, crosstown rivals – the New York Islanders and New York Rangers - battle at Madison Square Garden in a Metropolitan Division matchup.

Here’s a look at today’s NHL Picks:

New York Islanders @ New York Rangers (+1.5), 7:00 PM:

  • The Islanders have a 23-19 W/L record over the Rangers since 2010-11.
  •  The Islanders have a 15-9 ATS record in night games against the Rangers since 2013-14. (Stats courtesy of Statschecker).

The New York Islanders (27-12-4) snapped a two-game winning streak after falling short at home in overtime to the Boston Bruins 3-2.

Center Mathew Barzal dished out his team-high 20th assist to put the Islanders up 1-0, then added his team-high 17th goal to eventually force overtime.

The Rangers (12-8-2 at home) snapped a two-game winning streak, losing on the road to the St. Louis Blues 5-2.

Center Filip Chytil got New York off to a hot start with a 1-0 lead, but it was all downhill from there as the Rangers were outshot 29 to 23 and suffered 31 penalty minutes.

Left wing Artemi Panarin has led the charge for New York this season, leading the team in goals (24) and assists (38) while ranking fifth in the NHL with 62 points.

Monday night is the first of four meetings this season between these rival New York teams.

The Islanders are the far better team in terms of defense as they’ve allowed the fourth fewest goals per game (2.56 gapg) in the league compared to the Rangers, who’ve allowed the fourth most (3.34 gapg).

2u - New York Islanders Moneyline @ -125

Boston Bruins @ Philadelphia Flyers (+1.5), 7:00 PM:

  • The underdog has won the last three games between the Bruins and Flyers.
  • Philadelphia has a 24-21 ATS record this season which is 11th best in the NHL. (Stats courtesy of Statschecker).

The Bruins (27-8-11) picked up a third straight win, and a second consecutive victory by one goal, after defeating the Islanders in overtime 3-2.

Goalie Tuukka Rask came up huge with 35 saves and Patrice Bergeron put away the game-winning power play goal over a minute into OT for his 19th score of the season.

With the win, Boston sits tied with the Washington Capitals and St. Louis for the most points in league with 65.

Philadelphia (23-16-6) continued to slump and have lost five of the last six games after falling at home to the Tampa Bay Lightning 1-0. The Flyers were held scoreless and were outshot 28-23, despite being far more physical leading 26 hits to 10.

Philadelphia managed to edge out the Bruins 3-2 in a shootout back in November.

Boston has looked vulnerable on the road this season, suffering six of their eight loss away from home, while Philadelphia has looked the strongest at home posting a (14-3-4) record at the Wells Fargo Center.

The Flyers have a strong chance at winning outright as home underdogs at (+110), but I like the safe play of the Philadelphia puckline (+1.5).

1u - Philadelphia Flyers (+1.5) @ -210

Carolina Hurricanes @ Washington Capitals (-1.5), 7:00 PM

  • The Capitals have a 33-19 W/L record against the Hurricanes since 2010-11.
  • Washington has a 30-11-5 W/L record which is the best in the NHL. (Stats courtesy of Statschecker).

Washington (30-11-5) sport the joint-best record in the NHL despite hitting a rough patch of losing two consecutive games. The Capitals suffered an ugly 5-1 home loss to the dreadful New Jersey Devils.

Washington outshot the Devils 34 to 22, and lead in penalty minutes 10 to 2, but it still wasn’t enough to score more than one goal on the NHL’s second worst defensive team.

The Carolina Hurricanes (27-16-2) picked up a third consecutive win, and posted a second straight shutout, defeating the Los Angeles Kings 2-0.

Right wing Nino Niederreiter put the Hurricanes up early in the first period with his sixth goal of the season and it was more than enough as goalie James Reimer was sensational in net, totaling 41 saves and the shut out.

Despite both teams trending in opposite directions, Carolina sits three wins and nine total points back of Washington in the Metropolitan Division.

This matchup caps off the fourth and final meeting between these teams this season, with the Hurricanes leading the series 2 to 1.

My expectation is the Capitals will turn up at home and snap the losing skid with divisional seeding on the line.

1u - Washington Capitals Moneyline @ -137

By Stephen Rodriguez


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