The Washington Capitals have taken the first two games of their first-round series with the New York Rangers and they’ve hardly broken a sweat in the process. The games have been close but when you look back, the Rangers have only scored one goal so far.
The Washington Capitals can win because…
All they do is win. Coming down the stretch of the season, the Caps were unstoppable. Some of their wins were pretty while others were just two points. In short, this team has been playing playoff hockey for over a month now and they simply won’t accept losing.
The Rangers have scored just one goal in this entire series. Is that the type of team you want to be laying juice with on the NHL odds? The Caps have killed off all seven Rangers power players, have their own power play working and are outplaying them at five-on-five. Other than desperation, there’s no real reason to be the Rangers.
The New York Rangers can win because…
They are back at home. The Rangers were 16-8 at home this season compared to 10-14 on the road. That’s a big difference. More importantly, their goal scoring significantly differs at home versus on the road.
When the Rangers are on the road, they average just 2.17 goals per game, which is 23rd in the NHL. At home, they average 3.08, which is fifth best. Playing at home is a big deal for this team.
Combine that with the urgency of avoiding the 3-0 hole and the Rangers should come away with a win in this spot.
Check out my picks for tonight's Ducks vs. Red Wings matchup.
Outlook & Pick
Even if you like the Rangers here, the concern is laying -140. They’ll probably do better offensively in Game 3 but considering they’ve scored just once in two games, can you really trust them? The Caps are worth a small play in my NHL picks. I just can’t make myself lay the juice with the Rangers here.
NHL Pick: Capitals +128 at Bet365