The Capitals defeated the Rangers on Monday night and will be looking for another W when they return to Madison Garden and battle their divisional rivals again. Let’s handicap this East Division showdown and keep cashing our NHL picks.
Washington Capitals vs. New York Rangers
Wednesday, May 5, 2021 – 7:00 PM ET at Madison Square Garden
The Capitals added a valuable two points to their record with their 6-3 win over the Rangers on Monday night. However, the victory served a dual purpose in also eliminating New York from the playoff picture but it didn’t come without controversy.
Veteran winger, Tom Wilson, was involved in yet another dustup as he punched the back of the head of Rangers’ forward, Pavel Buchnevich, before assaulting New York’s star left-winger, Artemi Panarin during the same scrum around the Washington net. If you are a Caps fan then you are undoubtedly chalking it up to Tom Wilson being Tom Wilson but if you are the head coach of the New York Rangers, well, you are seeing things quite a bit differently.
"We all saw it. There are lines that can't be crossed in this game. There's just zero respect for the game in general. You got one of the star players in this league now that could have gotten seriously, seriously hurt in that incident," said Rangers coach David Quinn in a postgame presser. "You all saw what happened, and it happens time and time again with him. Totally unnecessary."
Wilson received a double-minor for roughing in addition to a 10-minute misconduct penalty but that didn’t deter him from icing the victory with a third-period goal after returning to action to cap the 6-3 win. Nic Dowd, Conor Sheary, Garnet Hathaway, Daniel Sprong, and Nicklas Backstrom all tallied for the Capitals as well. Alex Ovechkin returned after missing four games but skated only 39 seconds of the first period before calling it a night.
Party’s Over for Rangers
There will be no postseason in the Big Apple this year after the Rangers found themselves on the wrong end of a 6-3 decision on Monday night, courtesy of the Washington Capitals. Despite taking a 2-0 lead in the opening period, the floodgates eventually opened and six of the 40 shots on net were allowed in which New York goalie, Igor Shesterkin, turned aside 34 of 39 with the last being an empty-netter by Tom Wilson.
The Rangers have talent but are bereft of depth as evidenced by the following statistic. New York is the only team in the league that has five players with at least 44 points and only one of two teams, with the Penguins being the other, that has three players netting 20 or more goals as the season winds to a close.
Wanna Make a Bet?
This will be the eighth and final meeting between these divisional foes and the Rangers are 4-3 in the series. And although the Caps are tied with the Penguins for first place, while the Bruins and Islanders are also within spitting distance for the top spot, the NHL odds at all of the best online betting sites are showing Washington as a relatively slight favorite as of this early writing.
One would tend to believe that the line would be more heavily skewed on the road chalk because the Rangers now have nothing to play for while there is every motivation for the Caps to continue their assault on the No. 1 seed.
However, chances are Ovechkin will be out again after his short stint on Monday, clearly demonstrating he is not ready for live-action after his lower-body injury has shelved him over the last week. Moreover, the Rangers could be loaded for bear after Wilson’s antics in a cheap shot to Pavel Buchnevich before attacking the Rangers’ leading scorer, Artemi Panarin.
Let’s also consider that New York has handled Washington this season, winning four out of seven, and has outscored them 24-19 over the season series. I suspect this line could rise even higher, therefore, if the top sportsbooks want to give us plus money betting the home dog with every reason to put a big bite on their opponent on Wednesday night, then why not take it?
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.