The Washington Capitals and New York Rangers meet on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden, a matchup which should garner attention across the NHL. The Rangers have been picking up steam lately, and for the Capitals, they’ve had steam brewing since the season began. We’ve seen that with the Caps before, though. Demolishing teams in the regular season, and then when it comes time to make bread in the playoffs they stumble and fall. Their latest fall from grace came against the Pittsburgh Penguins this most recent postseason.
The Capitals are essentially in the same spot they were a year ago. With a record of 41-13-2, the Capitals are once again kings of the regular season. They are 1st overall and looking at another President’s Trophy, if that means anything at all. The Pens trail the Caps with a record of 38-14-8. And then you have the Rangers who have been playing hot hockey. The Rangers enter with a strong record of 40-20-2, including eight wins in their last ten games.
Since January 19th, they’ve won twelve games in their last seventeen efforts. Of particular emphasis with the Rangers this season has been their ability to play strong on offence. Offensively they have improved considerably, making them a hot pick in the NHL of late. The Rangers have averaged over 3 goals per game since the New Year. The Canadiens came back for us in fine fashion last night, as we cashed our Habs’ pick on Monday. Let’s make it another winner tonight with our Capitals vs. Rangers pick on Tuesday night.
Washington Capitals vs. N.Y. Rangers Pick
Offence has been following the Rangers all season long. It isn’t a small sample size of games they’ve been producing, it’s been a consistent effort since October. The Rangers are 5th in the NHL, averaging 3.27 goals per game. Their defence has steadily been improving as well with 2.61 goals allowed per game, 10th in the NHL. In their last ten games, they’ve scored 2.60 goals per game while allowing 2.40 and winning seven of those games.
The Capitals have eight wins in their last ten, so this is a meeting of two teams playing quality hockey. Across that time though, the Capitals have looked like the better team. Compared to the Rangers’ 2.60 goals and 2.40 allowed, the Caps have netted 3.60 goals per game and allowed 2 a game.
The Rangers to have the edge over the Capitals in the recent head-to-head series, though. Despite the Caps enjoying so much regular season success, the Rangers have been able to beat them on three straight occasions. This will also be the Caps fifth game on the road in their last six tries. They are coming off a 5-2 loss to the Nashville Predators.
It was a rather uneventful effort from the Capitals on that particular night. The Rangers are favorites here thanks to their 7-3 record over Washington in their past ten meetings. I could see a much better effort from the Caps tonight after they failed to play sensible hockey against the Preds. This game is basically at a pick as I’m writing this article. My allegiance will be with the Capitals tonight in NYC.
PICK: CAPITALS TO WIN -102