Date/Time: May 2nd, 7:30 PM ET
Television: NBC Sports Network
Moneyline: Washington -120
For the fourth time in five seasons, the New York Rangers and the Washington Capitals are going to meet up with one another. The two will get it on in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals for NHL betting fans starting on Thursday night at the Verizon Center, where the crowd is certainly going to be rocking in favor of the Southeast Division champs.
Head Coach John Tortorella probably saved his job by sneaking the Rangers into the playoffs, and the truth of the matter is if his team gets swept away in the postseason relatively quickly, he still might find himself on the Tim Tebow Unemployment Line. Tortorella probably hasn’t totally been at fault, though. For the most part, his stars just haven’t been stars. The acquisitions of C Derick Brassard and LW Ryane Clowe seem to have sparked the team from top to bottom though, as New York played its best hockey at the end of the regular season after the trade deadline. There’s no doubt that the Rangers have played better once they have gotten some new ammunition to play with. However, we know that this season is going to come down to how well LW Rick Nash and the gang play. If the stars for New York don’t shine, this is going to be a quick and painful postseason to watch unfold.
Washington went on a heck of a run at the end of the season, and it is going to be entering the playoffs as the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference. The Southeast Division champs are the first winners of this division in quite some time to be in great form at the end of the season, and that could make this the most dangerous middling team in the East. LW Alexander Ovechkin came on strong in the second half of the season and finished with 32 goals; not bad for a man that went scoreless in his first four games and only had two goals on February 7th. The issues that the Caps are going to have are the same ones that they had last season. Who is going to be playing in net? G Braden Holtby got a taste of the playoffs last year, and he is the man that is going to be in the pipes once again in this one. He won 23 games and posted four shutouts in the regular season, but a 2.58 GAA definitely leaves something to be desired as we see it.
Though we know that G Henrik Lundqvist has a tendency of shining in games like this one, the Rangers are clearly in some trouble here. We trust that the Capitals are going to be able to win the first two games of this series more often than not, and we would rather have them on our side. Home ice advantage at the Verizon Center should be the key.
New York Rangers @ Washington Capitals Pick: Washington Capitals -120
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.