Washington Capitals vs NY Rangers Pick
The Washington Capitals and New York Rangers hope to put on a better show in Game 2 of their Easter Conference semi-final. Game 1 produces a total of 32 shots on goal in what was one of the most defensive games witnessed so far in the playoffs.
Washington Capitals at NY Rangers
When: 7:30 PM ET, Monday, April 30, 2012
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Broadcast: NBCS, CBC
Rangers lead series 1-0
Capitals vs. Rangers Betting Lines from betonline.com
Spread: Rangers -1 ½ (+200)
Moneyline: Capitals +138: Rangers -152
Over/Under: 5 goals
Washington will need better efforts from their stars – Alex Ovechkin was totally disappointing and Braden Holtby had by far his worst outing of the playoffs on Saturday.
The Capitals played almost a perfect two periods on the road in Game 1 but two third period goals against were the difference. Braden Holtby, who was the star for Washington in their upset of Boston, allowed three goals on just 14 shots in Game 1 – a .794 save percentage! Could it be that the clock has struck midnight for the Caps rookie keeper?
We can’t fault Holtby solely for the loss on Saturday – Washington’s offense generated just 18 shots and rarely tested Henrik Lundqvist. Alex Ovechkin continues to see his stock drop dramatically as he registered only one shot on goal – not nearly good enough if the Caps hope to compete. Alex Semin, Tory Brouwer and Marcus Johansson are now pointless in three games – not a good sign going into Game 2.
The New York Rangers have a deadly top line anchored by Brad Richards who has five points in his last five games and Marion Gaborik who has just one goal since Game 1 of the playoffs. But it has been the play of the second line that has been the pleasant surprise. Chris Kreider who was playing in college two weeks ago has been a true revelation – he is the real deal and has provided New York with an unexpected scoring punch.
He and Derek Stepan have combined for an incredible nine points in their last three games to pace the Broadway Blue Shirts. New York only generated eight shots in the first two periods of Game 1 – something that is unlikely to happen again in this series.
In goal, Henrik Lundqvist is proving why he is widely regarded as the best keeper in the game. He is 2-0-0 in his last two starts with a 1.00 goals against average and .956 save percentage. He is a difference-make that quite conceivably may not be called on to make a difference!
Betting Prediction: The home team is 7-3 in the last 10 meetings. The New York Rangers won Game 1 without their A-Game or B-Game – not a good sign for the Caps going forward. With a serious lack of offense it is difficult to imagine Washington putting up much of a fight in Game 2. And if they are able to muster any offense there is some guy named King Henrik to shut the door. Washington is outclassed in this series – look for a better Rangers team and much of the same Capitals team to take the ice Monday.
Pick: New York Rangers -152