The Washington Capitals (28-15-9) travel to meet the New York Rangers (32-13-5) Thursday at Madison Square Garden. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET (ESPN+). Below, we look at the Capitals vs. Rangers odds and lines, and make our expert NHL picks, predictions and bets.
The Capitals have been wildly inconsistent this year. Prime example – they lost 4-1 to the Ottawa Senators Feb. 13 and trounced the Nashville Predators 4-1 and Philadelphia Flyers 5-3 in the last two games. They’re 5-5-0 in their last 10.
The Rangers have gone 2-1-0 since the All-Star break and have played some nailbiters. This figures to be a close one, too.
Capitals at Rangers odds, spread and lines
Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated at 2:11 p.m. ET.
Money line: Capitals +102 (bet $100 to win $102) | Rangers -125 (bet $125 to win $100)
Against the spread (ATS): Capitals +1.5 (-270) | Rangers -1.5 (+190)
Over/Under (O/U): 5.5 (O: -125 | U: +100)
Capitals at Rangers projected goalies
Ilya Samsonov (17-7-3, 2.84 GAA, .906 SV%, 3 SO) vs. Igor Shesterkin (24-5-3, 2.01 GAA, .939 SV%, 3 SO)
Samsonov is 4-2-0 with a 3.03 GAA and a .917 SV% in February and went 1-1-0 with a 3.05 GAA and an .864 SV% against the Rangers last season. He has beaten two quality teams in the Preds and Flyers the last two times out as he stopped 63 of 67 shots.
The Rangers have a distinct advantage with Shesterkin in net. He has been amazing with 125 saves on 131 with going 3-0-1 with a 1.45 GAA and .954 SV% across four starts in February.
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Capitals at Rangers odds, lines, picks and predictions
Capitals 2, Rangers 1
The CAPITALS (+102) are slight underdogs in this one but have enough guile to rise up for another tough game, although it may take extra time to do it. The Caps are four points behind the Rangers in the standings and simply need this game more. Look for stud LW Alex Ovechkin to snipe one in crunch time.
Against the spread
This figures to be a low-scoring affair, which actually puts Washington at a disadvantage. They’ll find a way, though. The Capitals +1.5 (-270) doesn’t offer enough of a return here. So we’ll stick to the money line. PASS.
The UNDER 5.5 (+100) looks phenomenal here considering the way that the Rangers have yet to break out on offense and how good Shesterkin has been in goal.
New York hasn’t scored more than 2 goals in any of its three games since the All-Star break. Washington is capable of netting 4 of its own, but not here. Go at least a full unit, and do it early because this line could change the closer we get to puck drop.
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