NHL Picks: Will Rangers Bounce Back Against Confident Capitals in Game 2?

Ross Benjamin

Friday, May 1, 2015 10:44 PM GMT

Friday, May. 1, 2015 10:44 PM GMT

Our resident NHL handicapping professional previews Game 2 of the Eastern Conference playoff series between the Capitals and Rangers on Saturday at 12:35 PM ET. Can the Rangers bounce back or will the Capitals be complacent?

Rangers look to get square in Game 2 versus Caps
The New York Rangers will try to even their Eastern Conference Semifinal playoff series at 1-1 when they host the Washington Capitals on Saturday at 12:35 PM ET. According to the NHL odds at Bookmaker, the Rangers are a -170 money line favorite, and the posted total is 5.0. Wagerweb has the Rangers -1.5 (+180) and the Capitals +1.5 (-220) on the puck-line. Washington took Game 1 of this series 2-1 courtesy of a dramatic goal by Joel Ward with 0:01 to play in the final period.

 

Capitals Playoff Notes
The Washington Capitals have gone under the total in each of their previous three games, and went under the number in six of their eight playoff contests. The Capitals have played extremely disciplined during the postseason, allowing opponents just a total of 16 power play opportunities in eight games. They’ve also been perfect in killing penalties during the playoffs by allowing no power play goals by the opposition. Braden Holtby has been nothing short of terrific in his seven starts during the 2015 playoffs, compiling a superb .947 save percentage. The Capitals had the #1 rated power play in the NHL during the regular season, and they’ve gone 3-for-15 (20%) with their man advantage chances in the playoffs.

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Rangers Playoff Blotter
The New York Rangers have gone under the total in each of their previous four games, and five of six during the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Henrik Lundqvist has been solid with a 4-2 record in six starts this postseason, and has a stellar .938 save percentage in those outings. The Rangers power play during the playoffs has left a lot to be desired by going an unimpressive 3-for-22 (13.6%), and opponents have gone 3-for-15 (20%) with the man advantage.

 

Final Analysis
The Rangers were a bit flat in the opening game of the series as a result of a 5-day layoff between games. I look for them to be at their very best on Saturday, and also predict that Washington will have a bit of complacency after guaranteeing itself of a split on the road. This will be a statement game for the “Blue Shirts”, and they’ll be primed for a decisive win. I’m going to lean toward a puck-line selection on this game for one of my NHL picks.

NHL Picks: Rangers -1.5 (+185) on the puck-line over the Capitals at Wagerweb.

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