Free Hockey Picks: New York Rangers vs. Washington Capitals Game 2 Preview 4/15/11
In what amounted to be one of the most exciting Game 1s of Stanley Cup playoff betting action, the New York Rangers fell to the Washington Capitals 2-1 right near the end of the first overtime period. The two teams have had 24 hours off to stew over the happenings in Game 1, and they’re ready to hit the ice once again for the crucial Game 2 at the Verizon Center.
Give the Rangers all the credit in the world for keeping Game 1 as close as it was. New York really should’ve had the game after striking in the third period, but it just wasn’t able to really seal the deal once and for all, and it was clearly outclassed at the end of that overtime period. The defense was phenomenal for the entire game until the very end, a sign that bodes quite well for the rest of this series. Henrik Lundqvist looked like he was well on his way to a third straight shutout against the Capitals before allowing a goal with just a handful of minutes left in regulation, which closed a very, very impressive streak of over 170 minutes without a goal allowed to the Caps. New York’s net minder has done a great job baffling opponents all season long, and the end result has seen him pitch 11 shutouts already, the most in the league. He might need some more just to have the boys from the Empire State surviving in this series.
Washington had a lot to be proud about as well in Game 1. Its rookie goaltender, Michal Neuvirth stood in there and held the fort for the full nearly 80 minutes of game time, allowing just one goal and using his stellar defense to ward off a number of other potential chances on target. In the end though, it was the stars that you’d figure would be shining now that came up with the points to win this NHL playoff betting affair. Alexander Ovechkin was the first star of the show. Accounting for just 85 points was one of the worst regular season tallies that Ovie has had since coming to our nation’s capitol, but all will be forgiven if he can bring a Stanley Cup back to DC. He scored the game tying goal late in the third period, and he got some help from two more of the team’s leading point men, Alexander Semin and Mike Green. In OT, it was Semin that finally got the job done, sticking the biscuit in the basket with just over a minute left in the period to win the game. Newcomer Jason Arnott, who has oodles of playoff experience with the New Jersey Devils, got the assist on the goal.
New York Rangers vs. Washington Capitals Pick: This very well could be New York’s day. The Rangers were good enough to win Game 1 of this series, and we tend to believe that the upset could be in the cards in Game 2 in what should be a warning sign that this series is going to be lasting for a long, long time. Go with the Rangers +140.