Rangers at Capitals Picks and Game 7 NHL Odds
by Dave Schwab - 5/13/2013
The New York Rangers and the Washington Capitals will lace them up one more time this Monday night for the right to advance to the Eastern Conference Semifinals in Game 7 of this opening-round NHL playoff series. The puck is set to drop at the Verizon Center at 8 p.m. (ET), and the game will be broadcast nationally on the NBC Sports Network.
The Rangers were able to grind out a 1-0 victory on Sunday as -131 home favorites to force a Game 7. This was after they dropped last Friday night’s Game 5 in overtime by a score of 2-1 as +115 underdogs on the road. Both of these games stayed well “under” the total.
Washington has been perfect at home in this series with a pair of victories in the opening two games to go along with Friday’s win. It has now gone 18-8-1 at the Verizon Center this season, and the total has stayed under in its last five games there.
Rangers at Capitals Betting Storylines
For the second year in a row, the Rangers will try and advance in the playoffs with a Game 7 victory over Washington. However, this time around they will have to do it on the road. They went just 10-13-4 away from home this season, including three losses (two in overtime) in this series. With the exception of a 3-1 loss in Game 1 as +117 road underdogs, the other five games in this series have been decided by one goal either way. Scoring first in this game will be crucial to gain the early edge, but scoring last will most likely win it.
The other key for New York will be the continued high level of play of goalie Henrik Lundqvist. After allowing 10 goals in the first four games of this series, he has put the clamps on in the last two by stopping 60 of the 62 shots he faced. Overall, he has a goals-against average of 1.92 in this series, which is even better than the 2.05 GAA he posted in the regular season.
After back-to-back 4-3 losses in Games 4 and 5, Washington has been able to tighten things up on both ends of the ice. While it has only tallied two goals in the last two games, the defense has risen to the occasion by giving up just as many. Braden Holtby has gone the distance in goal and has a 1.77 GAA and a save percentage of .938 in the first six games of this series.
Alex Ovechkin led the Capitals in scoring in the regular season with 32 goals and 24 assists, but he has been relatively quiet in this series with just a goal and an assist. You cannot help but get the feeling that Washington will need a better effort from both him and Nicklas Backstrom on Monday night to get past the Rangers this time around. Defenseman Mike Green is the only player with more than one goal in this series and, along with Joel Ward and Mathieu Perreault, he leads the team in points with four.
Rangers at Capitals Game 7 NHL Betting Odds and Trends
BetOnline has opened New York has as a +124 road underdog for this decisive Game 7 showdown on the money line with the Capitals listed as -137 home favorites. The “over/under” for this contest has been set at 5.
The Rangers are 13-6 in their last 19 games playing on no day’s rest and 21-9 in their last 30 games in the third of a three games-in-four night’s situation. The total has stayed under in five of their last seven games overall.
The Capital are 16-5 in their last 21 games at home and 14-5 in their last 19 games overall. The total has stayed under in six of their last eight games.
Head-to-head in this matchup, the home team has won eight of the last 10 meetings, and the total has stayed under or ended as a “push” in eight of those games as well.
Rangers at Capitals Picks and Game 7 Predictions
The under would probably the best play in this final showdown as the eventual outcome will be pretty much in the hands of each team’s goalie. However, given how the home team has prevailed in each of the first six games, that is the stronger trend to follow in this matchup. The margin of victory should remain at one goal with the Capitals holding the all-important edge.
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