Washington Capitals (49-28-12) at New York Rangers (57-23-7)
|Date & Time||Thursday April 30, 2015, 7:30 PM (EDT)|
The Line: New York Rangers -170 / Washington Capitals +145 --- Over/Under: 5
The Washington Capitals kick off the semifinals with a trip to Madison Square Garden to face the New York Rangers.
The Washington Capitals should be very familiar with the Rangers as they have met five times in the postseason since 2009 with the Capitals winning two of those series. The Caps are probably not as well rested as they were forced to a game seven by the Islanders. The Caps did not enjoy much success against the New Yorkers during the regular season with a 1-3 mark with a win at New York. The key for the Capitals is not falling behind early which they did in the regular season with the NYR outscoring them 7-2 in the opening period. Washington scored ten goals versus New York in four games with four of those tallies coming with the man advantage. Braden Holtby was between the pipes in all four match ups and posted a 3.06 GAA and .897 save%.
The New York Rangers won the President’s Trophy with a 113 points which automatically tells us this team is loaded. The Rangers are well rested as well as they have had an extra two days off after eliminating Pittsburgh in a tough low scoring series. New York should have plenty of confidence versus Washington with a 3-1 record against them during the regular season including two wins at Washington so there is no fear playing at the Verizon Center. Kevin Hayes and Derrick Brassard had the most success against the Caps with five points apiece while Rick Nash lit the lamp three times in the three games he played. Henrik Lundqvist faced Washington twice and posted a 2.00 GAA with a save percentage of .929.
The Capitals are 6-0 in their last 6 when their opponent allows 2 goals or less in their previous game and are 4-0 in their last 4 after scoring 2 goals or less in their previous game while the under is 4-0-3 in Capitals last 7 Conference Semifinals games. The Rangers are 6-1 in their last 7 games playing on 3 or more days rest and are 27-5 in their last 32 when their opponent scores 2 goals or less in their previous game while going 5-1 in their last 6 vs. a team with a winning record. The Capitals are 1-4 in the last 5 meetings and the under is 15-5-8 in the last 28 meetings while Washington are 3-8 in the last 11 meetings in New York. There are some lines out but I want to see if there are injuries before making a pick although my initial thought is under…