Washington Capitals vs. New York Rangers: Fade Goaltenders at MSG in Season Finale
Scott Taetsch/Getty Images. Pictured: Evgeny Kuznetsov
- The Capitals and Rangers will close out their regular seasons on Friday night, both with an eye toward next week's postseason.
- New York is locked into the No. 2 seed in the Metro Division and could play either Washington or Pittsburgh in the first round, depending on tonight's results.
- Get our Capitals vs. Rangers preview and pick below.
Capitals vs. Rangers Odds
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL odds here.|
The New York Rangers and Washington Capitals are set to meet for the last game of the regular season, and this could also be a preview of a first round matchup.
If the Capitals win this game, and the Penguins lose their final game, then the Capitals will face the Rangers in the opening round of the playoffs. The Rangers will not be playing their best lineup tonight, as they showed in their last game that they are resting some of their key players.
The Capitals are coming off back-to-back losses against the Islanders and have lost three straight games. This will also be their second game in two straight nights.
Can the Washington Capitals Find Offense?
During their three-game losing streak, the Capitals have had a very hard time scoring goals. In this span, they have only scored a total of five goals, and it is clear they struggle to find offense without Alex Ovechkin in the lineup.
This is a rare rough patch for the Capitals considering that they have been a strong offensive team all season. Right now they are ranked as the 10th-best offense, currently averaging 3.31 goals per game. They have a ton of weapons up front aside from Ovechkin like Evgeny Kuznetsov, who has 77 points in 78 games, and John Carlson on the backend, with 70 points in 77 games.
The Caps are a team that can easily turn this slump around. They will want to be at their best going into the playoffs while also sending a message to the Rangers, who could very well be their opponent in the first round.
New York Rangers Sitting Their Stars
The New York Rangers’ position is set for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They have secured home ice in the first round, and their biggest concern is staying healthy to make sure they put out their best lineup for Game 1 next week.
They will most likely start Alexandar Georgiev for the second straight game, and he did not put on his best performance on Wednesday night against the Canadiens. Georgiev allowed four goals on 23 shots for a .826 save percentage. He has not had the best season; he hasn’t been terrible but also hasn’t been great.
Georgiev is 14-10-2 with a 2.95 GAA and a .896 save percentage on the season. In their last three games, the Rangers have allowed 11 Goals Against and haven’t been playing their best defensemen – just to give them some extra time to rest up.
The Rangers will most likely once again sit their top guys, so I am not expecting the best performance from them tonight.
Capitals vs. Rangers Pick
I don’t see this game being very tight defensively as both teams are simply just trying to avoid any injuries. With the goaltending matchup likely being Georgiev against Ilya Samsonov, I think we will see a decent amount of goals and a wide open game.
I think 5.5 is way too low of a number for two teams that currently rank in the top 10 for offensive production.
I think this game will not be physical whatsoever and sails over the total.
Pick: Over 5.5 -120