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Rangers Capitals Betting – Washington Survives Rangers To Head To Second Round

Posted by Don Melrose on 4/12/2011 3:44:48 PM
rangers capitals betting

Online betting players may be a bit wary of Washington, and for good reason as the Capitals haven’t been that successful in the playoffs in recent years. This time around, they will get the New York Rangers, who have given the Capitals all sorts of problems this season. We’re going to give the edge to Washington, whose offensive players will come to the forefront.

  • What: NHL Betting
  • When: Game 1 begins on Wednesday, April 13th, 7:30 PM ET in Washington
  • Where: Games 1,2,5,7 (Verizon Center, Washington D.C.); Games 3,4,6 (Madison Square Garden, New York City)
  • Pick: Washington Capitals
  • Why Bet On Washington Capitals

    The Capitals rebounded from an eight-game losing skid in December to take the top spot in the Eastern Conference, but the regular season doesn’t matter to Washington, who have lost in the first round of the playoffs in two of the last three seasons. This year, they throttled back on their offense-first plan because that wasn’t working, and the Capitals finished fourth in the league in goals allowed. They still have the offensive talent, led by captain Alex Ovechkin, along with Alex Semin and Nick Backstrom, but all of them, especially Ovechkin, have sacrificed points for defensive strength, so we’ll see how that translates in the playoffs. Brooks Laich and Mike Knuble have a knack of scoring crucial goals, so teams can’t focus on the top three. The defense has been solid with John Erskine Carlson, while John Carlson and Karl Alzner have emerged as excellent players at 21 and 22 years old, respectively. Mike Green should also be back after missing a couple of months with a concussion, which is a boost to the power play.

    But the interesting factor for NHL betting players is in goal: it looks like Michel Neuvirth will get the call, but Semyon Varlamov has 19 games of playoff experience, while Neuvirth has none. Neither goalie played well against the Rangers this year, so that will be the area that New York will focus on.

    Why Bet On New York Rangers

    The Rangers have been hot since the middle of March to snag the last spot in the East, and strangely, it’s been their offense that has fueled their run as New York has scored three or more goals in nine of their last 16 games, and they know that if they can give that kind of support to goalie Henrik Lundqvist, he’s going to give them a good chance to win. Ryan Callahan and Vaclav Prospal have been essential to the Rangers, however, the loss of Callahan to a broken ankle is massive, which means Marian Gaborik has to step up his offensive game. Dan Girardi and Marc Staal are the leaders of the defense, but the story of the season is probably 23-year-old Michael Sauer, who leads the team in plus/minus. Another find has been Ryan McDonagh, who has been with the team for half the season, but he’s one of those defensemen who allow the others to go forward while he stays behind and does the dirty work. And of course, there is Lundqvist, who gives the Rangers the edge in goal by himself.

    The key to the Rangers’ NHL betting odds in this series is if their offense can continue to hold up without Callahan, as Gaborik hasn’t been at his dynamic best this season. We know the Capitals can still score if they have to, but the Rangers’ recent offensive outburst has been a surprise. Now, without their leading scorer, the task just got bigger for New York and they’ll need more from other players.

    How The Series Will Play Out

    Washington is favored at -220 to take this series, while the Rangers are listed at +190, but New York has won three of four against the Capitals this season and a couple have been in convincing fashion as the Rangers rolled to a 7-0 win in December, then they bombed the Capitals 6-0 in Washington in February. Washington should be motivated by these losses, but you have to wonder if the Rangers are in their heads, and the Capitals haven’t been known to be a mentally tough squad in the past. They seem to have improved this season as they have focused on their defense, but this is the test. The Capitals were frustrated by Montreal in last year’s first round, and the Rangers have the capabilities to do it again.

    This is going to come down to coaching, and we think Washington’s Bruce Boudreau has the slightest of edges over New York counterpart John Tortorella. We’re also not sure that the Rangers can continue to score, but this game is going to go to at least six games, maybe seven. We’re going with Washington in our sports betting picks, but it’ll be close.

    Capitals Rangers Betting Pick: Washington Capitals

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