With their series knotted at two games apiece, Monday night’s Game 5 between the Washington Capitals and the New York Rangers is one that NHL betting fans certainly are going to want to dive right into.
The Capitals did their job on Saturday afternoon, taking care of the Rangers to essentially turn this series into a best-of-three situation. It wasn’t the best offensive game in the world for the Caps, who managed just a total of 12 shots after a great first period in which they outshot New York 14-3. That being said, it was enough to get the job done, and the power play strike by Mike Green at 14:12 of the third period proved to be the difference maker to avoid having to go into another potential marathon of an overtime game. Braden Holtby wasn’t remarkable, but he did the job and stopped 18 of the 20 shots that he faced on the afternoon, giving him a sixth win in his young playoff career. However, the most encouraging part of Game 4 was the fact that all of a sudden, Alexander Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom both came to play. Both put the biscuit in the basket in a big first period that saw the Capitals strike twice, and that might be just what the doctor ordered to get this whole offense going once again in a lackluster series.
Head Coach John Tortorella spent a whopping 27 seconds in front of the media in DC following the Game 4 loss, and he is surely none too pleased with his team’s effort. Getting off just three shots in the first period was absolutely unacceptable, though in fairness, New York was clearly the better team for the mass majority of the rest of the game. The Rangers know that they cannot leave Henrik Lundqvist out to dry on offense. The team just hasn’t been able to come up with all that much, and a lot of the shots that are being fired in the direct of Holtby are either just going wide or are getting blocked, and the end result is that there is a lot of frustration that is clearly being shown on the faces of the Rangers when they are in the Washington zone. It also hasn’t helped that the team has committed some crucial penalties in this series, perhaps none more so than the slashing call against Carl Hagelin in the third period of Game 4 that led to Green’s winner.
The Final Word: The Rangers were a great team at Madison Square Garden all year long, and we feel that they aren’t going to make the same mistake in this Game 5 that they did against the Ottawa Senators a fortnight ago. Back the hosts at relatively short odds to push the Caps into a 3-2 corner.
Washington Capitals @ New York Rangers Pick: New York Rangers -140
Andrew Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.