Capitals at Rangers Picks and NHL Game 3 Odds
by Dave Schwab - 5/6/2013
The Washington Capitals will take their show on the road this Monday night to Madison Square Garden with a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven opening round playoff series against the New York Rangers. This matchup is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. (ET), and it will be broadcast nationally on the NBC Sports Network.
It only took one goal to extend the Capitals’ lead in this series with a thrilling 1-0 overtime victory in Saturday’s Game 2 as -124 home favorites. This followed a solid 3-1 win in the series opener as -127 favorites at home last Thursday. The total has stayed “under” in both games.
New York dug itself into this unexpected 0-2 hole after winning five of its last six regular season games to work its way into the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference. It has managed just one goal so far after tallying 28 goals during that six-game stretch. The total went 3-1-2 during that run.
Capitals at Rangers Betting Storylines
It should come as no big surprise that Washington has the early edge in this series after finishing the regular season as one of the hottest teams in the NHL. It went 11-1-1 in its last 13 games, including a 4-1 record in five road games. The total went over in three of those five games, but you get the feeling whichever team plays the best defense on Monday night will come away with the win.
The Capitals did a great job of putting the puck in the net this season with a goals-per-game average of 3.0 led by Alex Ovechkin’s 32 goals and 24 assists. He has accounted for one goal and one assist in this series along with defenseman Mike Green, who scored the game-winner in Game 2. Washington was ranked 18th in goals allowed with a goals-against average of 2.7, but goalie Braden Holtby has stopped just about everything he has faced so far in this series with a save percentage of .983 on a total of 60 shots.
New York’s success this year has pretty much centered around a stingy defense that ranked fourth in the NHL in goals allowed with a GAA of 2.3. With the exception of a meltdown in the second period of Game 1 when it was torched for three goals, that has carried over into the postseason behind goalie Henrik Lundqvist. He has stopped 64 of 68 shots so far, but the way things are going he might have to pitch a shutout to get his team a win.
The Rangers were never known for being a high-scoring team with 2.6 goals-per-game average in the regular season, but they have now gone scoreless for almost six full periods after Cary Hagelin’s first period goal in last Thursday’s game. Derek Stepan (18 goals and 26 assists) and Rick Nash (21 goals and 21 assists) led the way all year long but have come up blank in the last two games. This is going to have to change to avoid falling even further behind in this series.
Capitals at Rangers NHL Game 3 Betting Odds and Trends
The Capitals are 10-2 in their last 12 games following a win and 8-2 in their last 10 games on the road. The total has gone over in six of their last nine road games.
The Rangers are 6-0 in their last six home games and 5-2 in their last seven games playing on one day’s rest. The total has stayed under in three of their last four games against a team with a winning record.
Head-to-head in this showdown, the home team is 7-2 in the last nine meetings, and the total has stayed under or ended as a push in the last eight games played in New York. Washington has now won three of the five meetings this season.
Capitals at Rangers Picks and Game 3 Betting Predictions
These two teams are extremely familiar with one another, especially in postseason play considering this is the third-straight season they have met in the playoffs. Expect another hard-fought battle, but this time the Rangers end up on top with a much better performance on their home ice.
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