Capitals vs Rangers Game 2 Odds: NHL Preview, Prediction

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Capitals vs Rangers Game 2 Odds

Tuesday, April 23
7 p.m. ET
Capitals Odds+235
Rangers Odds-290
Over / Under
-105o / -115u
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute NHL odds here.

Here's everything you need to know about the Capitals vs. Rangers Game 2 on Tuesday, April 23 – our expert NHL prediction and pick.

The Rangers followed up their Presidents Trophy-winning regular season with a dominant 4-1 victory over the Capitals in Game 1. New York controlled the vast majority of the play, outshooting Washington, 31-21, and is a massive -290 favorite to win Game 2.

I’ll outline the relevant game notes and hand out my Capitals vs. Rangers best bet and pick below.

Washington Capitals

We heard endless talk about how the Capitals were a historically bad playoff team, as their -37 goal differential was the worst by a playoff team in the salary cap era.

Game 1 didn't do much to dispel that conversation.

The Capitals were outplayed badly and didn't generate much in the way of quality offensive chances. I would not argue that, to a man, they should be embarrassed. But the gap in NHL talent between the two teams was quite apparent.

In fairness to the Capitals, it's important to point out that their current injury situation is actually much worse than it was throughout much of the regular season.

In fact, top four mainstays Nick Jensen and Rasmus Sandin are highly likely to remain out of the lineup. Jensen, in particular, has always always been a highly underrated piece who's excellent at driving play up the ice and making a good first pass.

Holding a respectable defense core was one of the positives that allowed coach Spencer Carbery's group to steal so many close games. With those two out, Dylan McIlrath will remain on the second pairing.

The Capitals had been playing Vincent Iorio to help cover up for Sandin and Jensen's absences, but he was also injured in Game 1. As a result, they will have AHL defender Lucas Johansen making his NHL playoff debut in this game.

Charlie Lindgren will start in goal for the Capitals in Game 2. He has played to a +10.5 GSAx and .911 save percentage in 50 appearances this season, and was solid on Sunday despite a losing result.

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New York Rangers

There are a lot of positives to point to for Peter Laviolette's squad after Game 1.

The most notable might be their defensive play at five-on-five seeing as that's not typically one of their greatest strengths. They allowed only 1.44 xGA in five-on-five play and allowed just six high-danger chances.

It seems likely that they can continue to keep the Capitals in check at even strength throughout this series.

The greater question is whether or not they can continue to thrive defensively next round when they take on either the Hurricanes or Islanders.

Igor Shesterkin was sharp when called upon in Game 1, stopping 20-of-21 shots on goal, with the only goal against being an unstoppable backdoor tap-in from Martin Fehervary. He will start in Game 2, looking to improve on a career .929 save percentage across 29 playoff appearances.

Filip Chytil is nearing a return to the lineup and will likely play at some point in this series. My expectation is the team will be conservative with his return given the situation in the series.

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Capitals vs Rangers

Betting Pick & Prediction

The Capitals are going to continue to have a tough time generating any kind of quality chances in this series. And when they do, Shesterkin should make all of the saves he's supposed to and then some.

Whether it's intended or not, it's very natural for the Capitals to settle into a game plan of looking to avoid high-danger breakdowns and allow Lindgren a chance to thrive.

The Caps don't have the talent to actually control much of the play against a team like New York. Therefore, they will always just be looking to hang around and net one against the overall run of play.

Sandin and Jensen are typically pieces that help drive play the other way for the Capitals, while fill-ins like McIllrath will always err on the most conservative possible play.

There were no goals in the first period in Game 1, even during a stretch with very little five-on-five play. We should see a low-event first period again tonight, and I see value betting the first period to go under 1.5 up to -130.

I also wouldn't disagree with anybody playing the Rangers -1.5 at +100. However, there could be a lot of opportunities to lock that in mid-game at better prices if there's a slow start.

Pick: First Period Under 1.5 (-130 or Better) · Ovechkin Over 3.5 Shots on Goal in Regulation (+165 · Play to +155) · Half-Unit Plays

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