Washington Capitals (52-29-12) at New York Rangers (58-26-7)
|Date & Time||Friday May 8, 2015, 7:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: New York Rangers -161 / Washington Capitals +145 --- Over/Under: 4.5
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The Rangers face a must win back at Madison Square Garden on Friday night while the Caps look to be the first team in to the Eastern Conference finals with a victory of their own.
The Washington Capitals have had much more success than anyone gave them credit for in these playoffs so far and Braden Holtby has outplayed Henrik Lundqvist through four games of this series and with another victory tonight the Caps will book their ticket into the Eastern Conference final. Ever since Alex Ovechkin entered the league he was seen as the savior of the franchise and while he certainly has filled the shoes and gave this team an identity and emerged as one of the best players of all time he has yet to push the Caps through on a long playoff haul as they have never escaped the second round during his time. That could all change on Friday night though as the Caps look for their second win in three tries at MSG in this series but they know the Rangers will be dialed in for this one as they feel the series could be much different had a couple of bounces gone the other way.
The Rangers were last year's Eastern Conference champions and this season's President's Trophy winners but all of those accolades will quickly be forgotten if they lose one of their next three games. The Blue Shirts have their backs against the wall but don't think for a second they are out of this series by any means as they have one of the best defensive units and goaltenders in the world and now that they're back on home ice in desperation mode I think they have a great shot at climbing back into the series. Winning three straight games in a do or die situation is taxing on any team but is certainly more than possible and with the way New York has battled this season they would be my bet as the team to climb back out of a deep hole and emerge victorious. That starts tonight in what should be another low risk type of game from both sides and in the end I like the Rangers to stay alive for at least one more night.