The second week of the new NHL season will conclude on Sunday, October 23, with this divisional tilt in New York, so make sure you read the best Blue Jackets vs. Rangers betting pick and odds.
New York is hoping to bounce back from an OT home defeat to San Jose with a win when they welcome Columbus at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers are -200 moneyline favorites on MyBookie Sportsbook, while the total is set at 6.5 goals. These Metropolitan Division rivals met three times last year, and the Rangers won that series 2-1.
Blue Jackets to snap a home stand with a trip to New York
The Columbus Blue Jackets (2-3-0-0, 1-4 ATS) opened the season with three consecutive losses but managed to respond with a pair of victories over the Vancouver Canucks and Nashville Predators. The Jackets played both of those games at home and will host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night, at the time of writing this preview, before facing the Rangers on Sunday. After the Rangers, Columbus will head back home for two more games.
The Blue Jackets beat the Nashville Predators 5-3 after coming back from a two-goal deficit. Nashville nearly got to a 3-0 lead, but Roman Josi’s goal was disallowed, and although the visitors again restored a two-goal lead, Columbus scored four unanswered in the third period to secure a big W. Nick Blankenburg, Yegor Chinakhov, and Johnny Gaudreau contributed with two points apiece. The Jackets deserved to win as they had 42 shots opposite Nashville’s 26.
Elvis Merzlikins (2-1-0) is expected to start for the Blue Jackets on Sunday against the Rangers. The 28-year-old goalie is allowing 3.60 goals per game and has a .872 SV% with no shutouts so far.
Goaltender Joonas Korpisalo (hip) and RW Patrik Laine (upper body) are unavailable to feature on Sunday in New York.
Rangers fell short to the Sharks in OT
The New York Rangers (3-1-1-0, 3-2 ATS) won the opening two games of the season but then lost two of the next three, including the most recent to the San Jose Sharks at home. That was the first home loss of the campaign, but at least the Rangers took a point as they lost in overtime.
Filip Chytil and Artemi Panarin scored goals in the second period to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead, but the visitors tied the game in the third and then won it in OT through Erik Karlsson. The Sharks were dominant in the final 20 minutes, recording 16 shots opposite just two from New York.
Igor Shesterkin (3-0-1) is a probable starting goaltender for the Rangers against the Blue Jackets on Sunday. The 26-year-old is allowing 2.75 goals per contest and holds a .901 SV% without a shutout early in the season.
RW Vitali Kravtsov has missed the last four contests with an upper-body issue, and it is unknown if he will be active for Sunday’s battle with the Blue Jackets.
Columbus Blue Jackets vs. New York Rangers Pick
The Blue Jackets are playing the second of back-to-back games on Sunday, while the Rangers had time to rest and are staying home. The home-ice advantage is important in this matchup because Columbus lost each of their last 11 games on the road. Artemi Panarin is currently the top point-maker in the NHL with 11 (G 3, A 8), while Mika Zibanejad has eight points (G4, A4) is helping him offensively, and I am backing them to torture the defense that allows 3.40 goals per game. The Rangers will return to winning ways here.
Pick: Take the Rangers at -1.5 Puck Line (+131)
The Rangers are scoring 3.80 goals per contest, and given the Blue Jackets allowed at least three goals in each of their five games this season, I am backing New York to score 4+ here. The Blue Jackets are averaging only 2.80 goals per game, but they played four consecutive games that produced 7+ goals. I do expect the hosts to outscore Columbus, who will be a bit tired after Saturday’s clash against Pittsburgh, so their defense will be more lenient here.
Pick: Go Over 6.5 goals (-110)