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Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook.
|New York Rangers||-1.5
The Washington Capitals will take on the New York Rangers in the final game of the regular season. The Rangers beat the Capitals 5-1 in their first game of the season, but the Capitals tied up the series with a 4-1 win in February.
Both of these teams have clinched playoff spots, but a win in this game can improve both teams’ seedings. The Capitals are currently in a Wild Card spot but could move into the third place spot in the Metropolitan Conference with a win and a Pittsburgh Penguins loss in regulation. The Rangers are currently sitting in the second spot in the Metropolitan and cannot move up or down from there. However, they can secure the best seeding possible with a win and a Tampa Bay Lightning loss.
The Washington Capitals are a solid team but have been mediocre lately. They have nine points in the last seven games and only secured one point in their last two games.
The Capitals are led by a handful of veterans. First, we have future Hall-of-Famer Alexander Ovechkin. Ovechkin is 36-years-old but still is a gifted scorer; his 50 goals are the fourth-most in the league. After Ovechkin, we have center Evgeny Kuznetsov. Kuznetsov is not so much of a scorer. However, he is a strong passer and has 53 assists. And finally, we have defenseman John Carlson. Carlson only has 16 goals, but his 54 assists lead the Capitals.
The Capitals do not have an ideal goaltending situation. They have a platoon of Ilya Samsonov and Vanya Vanecek in net. Vanecek is a little better than Samsonov but mediocre at best.
The New York Rangers have put together a nice season and had a few long winning streaks. They have, however, lost their last three games and could use a win this game to get momentum heading into the playoffs.
The Rangers do not have as veteran a team as the Capitals, but they have better players leading them. Offensively, they are led by the trio of Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanjed, and Chris Kreider. Left winger Artemi Panarin is a passing machine; his 74 assists are the fourth-most in the league. Center Mika Zibanejad is also a strong passer and has 52 assists, and left winger Chris Kreider is a talented scorer with 52 goals.
The Rangers have a top goaltender in Igor Shesterkin. Shesterkin is very difficult to score and has the top save percentage in the NHL at .935.
The Rangers are the better team and are still fighting for a better playoff seed, so they will win this game.
New York Rangers beat Washington Capitals 4-2. New York Rangers cover, Under 5.5 goals.
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|Washington Capitals||Head-to-Head||New York Rangers|
|Peter Laviolette||Head Coach||Gerald Gallant|
|44-25-12 (4th in Metropolitan Division)||Standing||51-24-6 (2nd in Metropolitan Division)|
|Alex Ovechkin (90)||Points||Artemi Panarin (96)|
|Alex Ovechkin (50)||Goals||Chris Kreider (52)|
|John Carlson (54)||Assists||Artemi Panarin (74)|
|Nick Jensen (33)||+/-||Mika Zibanejad (30)|
|Alex Ovechkin (4.34)||Shots (Per Game)||Chris Kreider (3.19)|
The Washington Capitals will have a tough battle against the Rangers but can win if they take a lot of shots and kill penalties.
The Capitals are facing a Rangers squad with a solid defense and great goaltender. They have to find a way to take a lot of shots to stick around with the Rangers. The Capitals should not just shoot when they are in their offensive zone. However, they should be aggressive and take every good shot they can.
The Rangers are very efficient on the power-play. I would say that the Capitals have to be smart and avoid drawing penalties, but I will say something different this time. The Capitals need to kill the Rangers’ power-play. If they do, they will keep the game close.
The New York Rangers are the favorites but will only win if they slow down Alexander Ovechkin and draw penalties.
Alexander Ovechkin missed the Capitals last game against the New York Islanders but will likely play in this game. He has not slowed down with age and has four goals in the previous five games he has played. The Rangers need to make him priority number one defensively and make him work for every shot.
The Rangers have the fourth-best power-play unit in the NHL and convert on almost 25.5% of the opportunities. They need to get this unit out on the ice and build a lead through power-play goals.
Tom Wilson is tied for the second-most goals on the Capitals. His 24 goals are less than half of Alexander Ovechkin’s 50 but still impressive.
Wilson needs to be the second scorer in this game. He has to let Ovechkin take his shots but also find his own.
This is an unlikely pick. Barclay Goodrow has not had a great season; he only has 13 goals and 20 assists. However, the eighth-year player had two assists in the Rangers’ 4-3 loss to Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday.
Barclay needs to keep searching for his teammates, and he may end up with another two-assist game.
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|Washington Capitals vs New York Rangers Information|
|What||Washington Capitals vs New York Rangers|
|Where||Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York|
|When||Friday, April 29, 7:00 PM EST|
|How to Watch||ESPN+|
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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]More info on Max Heering
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