We preview this exciting matchup from Sunday's NHL odds. It looks like the Capitals will sneak into the playoffs. A matchup with the Rangers could actually be a preview of the 1st round in the playoffs.
Face-off is set for 3:00 pm ET this afternoon at Madison Square Garden in New York City. According to 5 Dimes Sportsbook, the Rangers are a -165 betting favorite and the total for the game is 5 goals
Talbot Back In Goal
After an unsuccessful attempt at returning to goal for the first time since February 2nd, the Rangers decide to sit Henrik Lundvist for Cam Talbot. Hopefully for New York, this won't become and issue as Talbot excelled while filling in for the King. On the season, Talbot is 20-8-4 with a 2.16 GAA.
It's likely but unconfirmed by the Capitals that Braden Holtby will be between the pipes this afternoon. Holtby was pulled in the 1st period against the Predators as he allowed 3 goals on 13 shots. I can't see them shaking his confidence by going somewhere else in this game as Holtby has been the goalie for the majority of the Captials games. For the season, he's 36-19-9 with a 2.21 GAA.
Currently, Alex Ovechkin is the 2nd favorite to win the NHL MVP to Carey Price. While it's most likely that he won't win the award, we're still going to see another 50 goal season and that's nothing to take lightly.
Ovechkin is the best goal scorer in the NHL today. For the season, he has 47 goals and 26 assists. Ovechkin has a league leading 366 shots on goal, which is quite amazing. 21 of his goals have come on the power play and in the month of March, Ovechkin has 8 goals and 3 assists in 11 games. He also has 2 goals in 2 games against the Rangers. The Capitals need the great Ovechkin to continue his success against New York as this game is of utter importance.
Favorites to Win the Stanley Cup
New York, according to Bodog Sportsbook, is the NHL odds on favorite to win the Stanley Cup. Let's remember, the Blushirts were in the Stanley Cup last season but came up a bit short due to the goaltending of Jonathan Quick. This looks like a much improved Rangers team and one of the reasons is the offense of Rick Nash. Nash notched his 40th goal of the season in a 4-2 loss to the Boston Bruins in New York's last game.
This is a well rounded team which is 3rd in the NHL in goals scored and 2nd in goals allowed. They also are great power play killers and this could be a problem for Alex Ovechkin. As for Rick Nash,he won't reach the 50 goal mark , but 40 goals and 27 assists on a winning team is definitely more than acceptable For the season, Nash is a +27 when he takes to the ice.
This game should be very tight. New York definitely has the advantage the way that Talbot has been playing and this game is in the Garden. You have to give the Rangers the edge and they will be my NHL picks.
NHL Pick- New York- 165 at 5 Dimes