Capitals Trying to Boost Seeding
It’s the final game of the regular season and could be an early playoff preview if the Washington Capitals beat the New York Rangers on Friday night. One key to the Capitals vs Rangers betting game is that Washington can move into the third spot in the Metropolitan Division with a win and a Pittsburgh Penguins loss in their regular-season finales.
The Capitals are sitting at fourth with 100 points but have dropped three straight contests. Should they beat the Rangers and Pittsburgh loses at home to Columbus, they will end up facing New York and avoiding the top-seeded Florida Panthers in the first round of the playoffs. As far as these matchups are concerned, Washington has similar records against both clubs with a .500 point percentage.
However, Washington may find it more reasonable to take on the Rangers given how Florida has been on a tear and leads the league in points, goals and home victories.
- Team records: Washington Capitals 44-25-12 (fourth in Metropolitan Division); New York Rangers (51-24-6, second in Metropolitan Division).
- Date: Friday, 7 p.m. ET
- Television/live stream: MSG, ESPN+
- Location: Madison Square Garden, New York City
Rangers Can Choose Playoff Opponent
For the New York Rangers, they too have a say in shaping the playoff picture. The Rangers have to beat the Capitals in regulation to prevent them from gaining any points, thus sealing their position as a wild card team. New York has split the season series against Washington and is 3-1-0 against Pittsburgh, the team they are currently set to face.
The Blueshirts have faced both the Capitals and Penguins in the playoffs in their last few playoff appearances. They are 2-2 against Sidney Crosby’s Penguins in playoff series victories and 3-2 against Alexander Ovechkin and Washington. They have won three straight playoff series against the Capitals.
A little bit of history is also on the line for the Rangers as a win would push them to 110 points, the third-most in franchise history. The other two times they hit the 110-point mark, they won the Stanley Cup (1993-94) and made the Eastern Conference finals (2014-15).
Ovechkin Could Return for Capitals
Ovechkin missed the last two games due to an upper-body injury he incurred when he tumbled into the boards against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday. Coach Peter Laviolette is hopeful the “Great Eight” can suit up for the regular-season finale against the Rangers.
Ovechkin made NHL history by hitting the 50-goal mark for the ninth time in his career, tying him with Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy as the only players to do so. The ageless superstar has eight goals and 12 points in 11 games this April and has three goals in Washington Capitals vs NY Rangers games this season.
Over his career, Ovechkin has scored 42 goals in 68 games against the Rangers. but is just a -12 against them, which is his worst plus/minus (tied with Columbus). However, Ovechkin has also scored the most power-play (PP) goals (19) against the Rangers, and if he plays, Washington becomes more dangerous with the man advantage.
Capitals vs Rangers Betting Tips
The Washington Capitals and New York Rangers have split their two meetings and neither game was close, with Washington winning 5-1 and the Rangers prevailing 4-1. Both the home teams won in dominant fashion.
If we look back further, the Capitals and Rangers have split their last 10 meetings (5-5-0) with the Rangers holding a slim 31-29 edge on goals. Ovechkin may have most of the Washington Capitals’ highlights and a lot of it came on the power play as he and the Caps have outscored the Rangers 6-5 in this category.
However, neither PP unit is that effective. Both teams are only firing at 16.2 percent or worse with the extra skater. Part of this is due to the strong play in net.
Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin has allowed just one power-play goal in his five games against Washington. He also owns a .935 save percentage against the Capitals.
Given each team’s struggles on power play, the goal-scoring has been lower than the sportsbooks predict. The total has gone under or pushed in seven of their last 10 meetings.Follow us on Twitter