NHL Odds, Picks: Rangers vs. Capitals Betting Preview & Prediction (Feb. 25)

NHL Odds, Picks: Rangers vs. Capitals Betting Preview & Prediction (Feb. 25) article feature image

Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Igor Shesterkin

Rangers vs. Capitals Odds

Rangers Odds-150
Capitals Odds+125
Over/Under6 (-106 / -114)
Time1 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The New York Rangers head to Washington as a road favorite against the Capitals, with each side looking to snap its losing streak. Additionally, the Rangers are trying to avenge a 4-0 defeat at MSG on Dec. 27.

Since that December meeting these sides have gone in entirely opposite directions, and Washington's current six-game losing streak likely puts an end to the hopes of an eighth consecutive playoff berth.

New York's play has also seemingly dipped this week with three straight losses, and the Rangers hope this get-right spot can get things moving in the right direction.

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New York Rangers

Considering where the Rangers level of play has been since early December, any three-game losing streak is going to be surprising.

Yet, it is an easy case to make that New York's current lull is nothing to read into, and that the Rangers should still be viewed as an elite team that will be a tough out come spring.

The losses have come in a difficult back-to-back spot at Calgary, a tough luck 4-1 final to the Jets behind a stellar 50-save performance from Connor Hellebuyck and a 4-1 decision at Detroit on Thursday, which was realistically the only truly disappointing showing.

Over its past 10 games, the Rangers has played to an elite 55.14% expected goals share and have continued to display a very sound process at five-on-five. The development of New York's top two defensive pairs has been a key to the improved process at even strength.

K'Andre Miller has quietly become a complete force on the second unit with Jacob Trouba, while Adam Fox is deservedly in the Norris conversation skating alongside Ryan Lindgren.

The early returns on the Rangers new look second line of Artemi Panarin, Vladimir Tarasenko and Vincent Trocheck have been positive. In 32 minutes together, the trio has played to a 69.6% expected goals share.

Igor Shesterkin rested Thursday versus Detroit and should almost certainly play Saturday. Shesterkin has played to a +14.0 GSAx rating and .912 save percentage in 41 games.

Washington Capitals

Hours before Washington's showdown with the last-place Ducks, general manager Brian Maclellan shipped Dmitry Orlov and Garnet Hathaway off to Boston, which essentially signified throwing in the towel and declaring this a lost season for the Capitals.

His team responded with a humiliating 4-2 loss, which dropped the Caps playoff hopes to just 9.7% (MoneyPuck) and put an exclamation mark on any hopes of a meaningful turnaround.

Washington has struggled mightily at the offensive end, generating just 2.17 goals per game over the past 15 contests. Few Caps players seem capable of making dynamic plays and a number of the team's surprising early successes — such as Sonny Milano, Dylan Strome and Marcus Johansson — have come down to earth.

Orlov had been one of the Capitals' better players with excellent individual on-ice impact. He also chewed up a ton of minutes throughout the season. Washington has already struggled to shelter its third defensive pairing, and now that problem is compounded significantly.

Darcy Kuemper should start Saturday. Kuemper has played to a +6.5 GSAx rating and a .913 save percentage through 39 games.

Rangers vs. Capitals Pick

New York has been in significantly better form than Washington for a meaningful sample, and was always regarded as having the better roster.

The gap between these teams is wider than it was previously now that Orlov has been dealt and this price is shockingly close.

It's easy to see why New York should get up for this game and get a very promising season back on track. This should be a good spot for the Rangers to take advantage of a Capitals team that's completely falling apart.

As of Friday evening, several sportsbooks are offering the Rangers at -140, which is very surprising to me as I believe the price should be -165.

I can't see any kind of bettor backing Washington at +120, and I see value backing the Rangers to win down to -155.

Pick: Rangers Moneyline | Play to -155

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