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Washington Capitals vs New York Rangers: Shorthanded Capitals Take on Surging Rangers

Written by: Max Heering
Updated December 27, 2022
12 min read
  • The Washington Capitals are on a four-game winning streak.
  • The New York Rangers have won eight of their last nine games.
  • The Capitals were 2-0-1 against the Rangers last season.

Washington Capitals vs New York Islanders Odds

Odds Taken from FanDuel Sportsbook.




Washington Capitals



O 6 


New York Rangers



U 6


Washington Capitals vs New York Rangers Predictions and Picks

New York Rangers beat Washington Capitals 4-2

New York Rangers cover

Capitals vs Rangers Predictions

Head-to-Head: Washington Capitals vs New York Rangers

Washington Capitals


New York Rangers

Jon Cooper

Head Coach

Gerard Gallant

19-13-4 (5th in Metropolitan Division)


19-11-5 (3rd in Metropolitan Division)


Alex Ovechkin (41)


Artemi Panarin (41)

Alex Ovechkin (22)


Chris Kreider (16)

Evgeny Kuznetsov (23)


Artemi Panarin (32)

Nick Jensen (9)


Ryan Lindgren (14)

Alex Ovechkin (4.36)

Shots (Per Game)

Mika Zibanejad (3.8)

Washington Capitals vs New York Rangers Predictions and Picks

The Washington Capitals will travel to Madison Square Garden to face the New York Rangers. These teams are having nearly identical seasons and are only one point apart from each other in the standings. The Capitals have played 36 games and are in the second Wild Card spot with 35 points. The Rangers have played 35 games and are in the first Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference with 36 points. 

The Capitals are dangerous when healthy but missing a few players tonight. Washington will be without Carl Hagelin, Nicklas Backstrom, Alexander Alexeyev, John Carlson, and possibly T.J. Oshie. Not only does this leave the Capitals shorthanded, but it also leaves them with very few solid defensemen.

The Capitals’ offense is led by Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Dylan Strome. Ovechkin is having another outstanding and is the focal point of the Washington offense. The 37-year-old is coming off a two-goal, one-assist game against the Winnipeg Jets and leads the Capitals with 41 points (22 goals, 19 assists). Kuznetsov is not much of a goal-scorer but leads the Capitals with 23 assists. Strome plays the least of this group but has 19 assists.

Darcy Kuemper and Chad Lindgren make up the Capitals’ goaltending duo. Kuemper plays a little more, but these two are playing at nearly the same level. They do not make for an elite pair, but there are worse ones in the league.

The Rangers are not an elite team, but they are performing at a high level and will be tough to beat in the Playoffs. They are also hot right now and have won eight of their last nine games. Offensively, they are not excellent but are very solid. Defensively, they are decent but have the potential to be in the top ten.

The Rangers’ offense is stronger than the Capitals’, and they have a few more weapons. Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad, Adam Fox, Vincent Trochek, and Chris Kreider are all dangerous with the puck and can all pass and/or score. Panarin is the premier passer of this group and leads the Rangers with 32 assists. Zibanejad is also a solid passer but is more of a scorer. Fox, a defenseman, is not much of a shooter but has 28 assists. Trochek is more of a jack of all trades and has 12 goals and 16 assists. Kreider is the top scorer in this group; his 16 goals lead the Rangers.

Igor Shesterkin is a goaltending workhorse for the Rangers. He has a 17-5-4 record, and his 2.44 goals allowed average is the ninth-lowest in the league.

The Rangers are healthier and have a more well-rounded roster, so they will win this battle.

Why Might the Washington Capitals Win?

The Capitals are the underdogs but can win if they score first and limit the Rangers’ shots.

The Capitals do not have too much going for them tonight. They are on a four-game winning streak, but this game is different. They will be playing on the road in one of the hardest stadiums in the league and have a smaller roster. However, they can push the odds more in their favor by scoring first. That will give the whole team energy and push momentum in their direction.

The Capitals will be without two key defensemen (Alexander Alexeyev and John Carlson) but still need to limit the Rangers’ shots. That is the only way to limit the Rangers’ scoring.

Why Might the New York Rangers Win?

The Rangers are the favorites but will only pull out the victory if they draw penalties and involve Artemi Panarin.

The Rangers have a mediocre power play unit and convert almost 23% of their opportunities. The power play has been a solid source of goals for them this season and will need to continue to be one in this game. New York must draw penalties and score at least one power play goal.

Artemi Panarin is a passing wizard. When the puck is in his hands, good things happen. However, if the puck is not in his hands, the Rangers score less. Panarin’s teammates must get him the puck and let him do his thing.

Capitals Key Players: (D) Nick Jensen 

Nick Jensen is a solid defenseman and leads the Capitals with his +/- of nine. His role will likely be expanded tonight with the absence of top defenseman John Carlson. 

Jensen has to step up and play even better than he usually does. He is their #1 defenseman tonight and needs to play like it.

Rangers Key Player: (D) Adam Fox

Adam Fox is regarded as one of the best defensemen in the NHL. He is the top defenseman on the Rangers and a true defensive wizard. 

Fox will have his hands full with Alex Ovechkin and other top Capitals’ wingers and centers. He has to bring his A-game and slow down all of Washington’s offensive weapons.

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How to Watch Washington Capitals vs New York Rangers

  • What: Washington Capitals vs New York Rangers

  • Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York

  • When: Tuesday, December 27, 7:00 PM EST

  • How to Watch: NHLPP, ESPN+

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Image for Max Heering


Max Heering

429 Articles

Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]

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