The New York Rangers and Washington Capitals will play the back end of a home and home on Wednesday night with the Capitals listed as home favorites. The teams met in New York on Monday night and on Wednesday they will play in Washington. The Rangers are trying to play the role of spoiler, as they are out of playoff contention, while the Capitals are trying to hold off Pittsburgh for first place in the Metropolitan Division. Let’s look at this contest on Wednesday and NHL picks.
This war on the ice will go down Wednesday, March 28, 2018, at 8 p.m. ET at Capital One Arena. The game will be televised live on NBCSN.
We'll have NHL odds at BookMaker.eu available for this and every game on the NHL Wednesday schedule.
The Rangers have actually played pretty well since the trading deadline, as they were 5-4-2. It was thought that New York would just pack it in and play for next season but that has not happened. The Rangers top line of Pavel Buchnevich, Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad has been really good and Alex Georgiev has played well in place of Henrik Lundqvist. The problem for the Rangers is that winning at this point in the season actually hurts their draft position for next season. New York is looking at picking 10th in the NHL Draft, but since it is a lottery anything is possible.
New York has not been a good road team this season, as they are 12-24 away from MSG. The Rangers have gone over the total 19 times on the road and under 17 times. They are scoring 2.9 goals per game and giving up 3.1 per contest.
The Capitals would seem to be in pretty good shape to win the Metropolitan Division, but only if they don’t trip up in these games against the Rangers. Washington had a game in hand heading into Monday’s game in New York and they were three points in front of the Penguins. Head coach Barry Trotz said the team can’t afford to take any game lightly and that they need to be better. “We’ve just got to be better,” Trotz said on the team’s website. “Our starts have to be better. After a day off, we tend to not come out very well. That’s just a tendency of our group. We’ve at least got to be ramped up a little bit and play a little more emotional. When we have a little bite to our game, we play much better.”
The Capitals are 26-11 at home this season, with 19 games going over, 17 going under the total, with one push. They are scoring 3.1 goals per game and giving up 2.9 per contest.
It is really surprising that New York doesn’t have a better record overall, because the Rangers actually have very good special teams, as they are 7th on the power play and 6th in penalty killing. The Capitals have been good on the power play at 5th in the league but they are just 19th in penalty killing.
The Capitals have won six of the last ten meetings in this series, but they are just 1-1 against the Rangers this season. Four of the last five meetings have gone under. The Capitals have won three of the last five at home in this series.
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I know that the Rangers have been playing spoiler recently but they have not played well on the road for most of this season. The Capitals still have to take care of business if they want to keep the Penguins at bay and Washington has been a really good home team this season. I will lay the price and take the Capitals in this contest.
NHL Odds: Capitals 4, Rangers 1
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