We could be looking at a playoff preview on Saturday night in NHL betting action in the Big Apple, where the New York Rangers will host the Washington Capitals on the final day of the regular season
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The Capitals have underachieved all season long to the point that they had to wait until game No. 81 to clinch their spot in the playoffs. They have gotten the job done though, and they still could win the Southeast Division and the No. 3 seed when it is all said and done. Washington needs a win and a regulation loss by the Florida Panthers to win the division. It could also move up to No. 7 and avoid the Rangers in the first round of the playoffs with a win and a regulation loss by the Ottawa Senators. Tomas Vokoun has a groin injury that is once again going to likely keep him out of this one, and Michal Neuvirth left the game against the Panthers on Thursday night with a lower body injury and is questionable as well. That might put more pressure on an offense that averaged just 2.6 goals per game this year. It was the worst season in the career of the great Alexander Ovechkin. He had just 64 points on the campaign, and he has gone pointless in three of his final five games down the stretch.
The situation for the Rangers is solidly in place right now. They are going to be the top seed in the Eastern Conference, and they’ll be one of the big time favorites going into the chase for the Stanley Cup. That being said, they are in a bit of a Catch-22 in this one. The Rangers know that they need a win or regulation losses by both the St. Louis Blues and Vancouver Canucks to lock up the Presidents’ Trophy. However, they would be in a lot better shape if they were to lose this one. They have been bounced out of the playoffs on two different occasions by these Caps already in recent years, and they would much rather take on either the Senators or the Panthers in the first round of the playoffs than Washington. If we do see Martin Biron in net instead of Henrik Lundqvist, we are going to be a seeing a goalie that has a heck of a lot on his mind. Biron allowed five goals in a bad showing against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday, and he is going to want to really get back on track and get some positive momentum going towards the postseason if he needs to be called upon should anything happen to the Swedish Vezina Trophy contender.
Washington Capitals @ New York Rangers Pick: In the end, we think that motivation is going to mean a lot more for Washington in this one than New York. If nothing else, the Caps are going to want to send a message that they are set to take it to the Rangers once again this year in the playoffs if that’s what it comes down to, and we think that they will get the job done.
Free Hockey Pick: Washington Capitals
Aaron 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.