The home-ice advantage trend has continued in the first-round series between the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals. The Rangers barely survived Game 6 and now on a quick turnaround, we’ve got a Game 7 in Washington.
Game 6 ended with some festivities as bitterness poured over at the final horn. That means the seventh and deciding game in this series should be particularly feisty as these teams definitely don’t enjoy each other’s company.
The Rangers can win because…
Henrik Lundqvist is on fire. He’s coming off a brilliant shut out performance in Game 6 and he was marvelous in Game 5 as well. If the Caps are going to win, they are going to need some kind of awesome effort.
People making their NHL picks know that Game 7 often comes down to one thing: goaltending. If you’re a betting man, who do you trust more: Braden Holtby or Henrik Lundqvist? The answer is clear.
The Capitals can win because…
They’ve played much better at home than away. There’s a reason why home-ice advantage is called that: it’s an advantage. So far, the home team has won every game, so why should NHL bettors expect Game 7 to be any different? The friendly confines should be particularly important to Holtby, who has allowed just two goals in three games at home.
The Rangers might have the better goaltender but that’s really all they have. Their three wins came by razor-thin one-goal margins. Each time they were clinging to the lead in the third period. If the Caps can get a charge from their home crowd, get an early goal and play from ahead, this won’t be much of a contest.
Outlook & Pick
It’s all you’re going to hear on Monday: the home team has won every game in this series. However, Game 7 could be different. The Rangers have wanted this situation all along: a one-shot deal. They have come close in a number of other games in Washington and I think this is the time they break through. Take a shot with the Rangers on the NHL odds.
Free NHL Pick: Rangers at Bodog