Rangers vs. Capitals Pick – NHL May 4th

It is officially time to panic in Montreal. After barely getting by the Senators, the Canadiens have discovered, well, that the Lightning aren’t the Sens. The Lightning have looked better in all facets of the game and are making them look like they are standing still. It’s obvious that the Lightning are a much faster team, and it has been on display thus far in this series. The Canadiens need to figure something out quickly, or it could be a bitter disappointment for them having to bow out in the second round of the playoffs. After having such immense success in the regular season, it was finally looking like they were going to make the jump to another level. Unfortunately for the Habs, at the moment, it is looking like they might have a lot of questions to answer in the offseason. However, you need to win 4 games to win a series here and the Canadiens are only down by 2. In the same token, they have their backs against the wall in this spot. They now need to travel to Tampa and play in an arena where the Lightning are the best in the league at playing at home. The hopes of a Canadian team winning the Stanley Cup this year isn’t looking so great now.

In other news around the NHL last night, the Ducks look well on their way to sending the Flames on vacation early in this series as they’ve thoroughly dominated Calgary thus far. Unlike the Canadiens though, the Flames will be able to go home and try and regroup, while Montreal will need to try and make do on the road. There is only the one game tonight, just like Saturday, the Rangers and Capitals meet up again in Washington. The Caps were able to get the split in New York, but were unable to take the Rangers for two in a row on the road. Armed with a couple of games at home now, all they need to do is win both to jump out ahead to a 3-1 lead in the series. A little easier said than done. The Rangers are favorites to go to the finals for a reason because they are a damn good team. Will Ovechkin be able to not only dazzle the crowd tonight, but lead his team to a W? Read on as I provide my thoughts regarding that question.

N.Y. Rangers @ Washington Capitals

Like I said in my writeup for game 2 of this series, I think the Rangers got a wake up call in game 1. They were coming off three straight wins and were cruising up to that point. Feeling too comfortable can be a dangerous thing to fall into. It can happen in any career, not just with regards to hockey. But entering a state of feeling content does not always work out. The Rangers came out strong in game 1 quickly jumping out to a 2-0 lead. I think we seen there who the better team is in this series. It really was a typical Rangers win, a close game, but they always find ways to find those type of games. A 1 goal win can feel like a blowout in some of their matchups.

I think the Rangers get the best of the Capitals again today, setting up a must win game for them in game 4. It is hard to envision the Caps coming back down 3-1, so I see I like that. I mentioned above that the Lightning are the best home team in the NHL. The best road team? The New York Rangers. Betting the Capitals simply because they’re back home doesn’t really have much of an angle to it considering how well the Rangers are in these situations. They finished 31-11-1-1 away from home. The Rangers won both games on the road against the Pens. Further, the Rangers are 4-1 in their last five games in Washington. I also like the price we are getting here. Sign me up for the Rangers to get it done tonight.