Washington Capitals at New York Rangers, Game Seven Pick and Predictions
NHL Playoffs Picks and Predictions, Saturday 5/12: Washington Capitals at New York Rangers – Game Seven. Holtby Vs Lundqvist, Alexander Ovechkin Vs Everyone
The Capitals and Rangers continue to play tight games marked by an exhausting pace, frustrating defense, and clean checking. How either team has anything left after a triple overtime thriller was followed by three consecutive one-goal games is nothing short of magical. The goaltending has been incredible, with rookie Braden Holtby going more than save-for-save with one of the best goalies in hockey, Henrik Lundqvist. The Rangers are being carried by their big weapons in Brad Richards, Marion Gaborik and of course, Henrik Lundqvist. The Caps are spreading the heroism around with lesser names. Nobody has scored more than Alexander Ovechkin’s modest four points in the first six games of the series and Holtby is carrying the load after missing the NHL roster for most of the year. Anyone can be a hero in a Game Seven, and this series is one of the most exciting of the entire NHL playoffs. As a Devils fan, it has been everything I wanted it to be. As a gambler, flip-flopping between the Rangers and Caps has been incredibly profitable and my Rangers in Seven prediction is still alive.
Washington Capitals (+130) at New York Rangers
Game Seven for the Rangers and Capitals means my original prediction of Rangers in Seven is alive and well. However, like a puppy that turns into a dog, I don’t want it anymore. At these odds, I see value in the Caps. However, I’m going to make money on this game no matter what happens by hedging a “fun” bet I made early in the series. Regardless, here is why I think the Caps steal Game Seven in New York:
Braden Holtby has carried the Washington Capitals after goaltending issues and injuries nearly derailed Washington’s season early on. Washington finally got healthy at the end of the season, and Holtby, ironically inserted as a response to goaltending injuries, has been solid since coming back to the NHL. He’s arguably been the better of the two goalies this series, facing far more shots than Henrik Lundqvist while allowing just a single goal more. His nearly 93% saves percentage has been why the Capitals have been able to force Game Seven, particularly after nearly shutting out New York in Game Six. We keep waiting for him to burn out, but Holtby has been remarkably consistent all postseason. I think he can outplay Henrik Lundqvist again, it’s just a matter of whether his teammates can keep up with the Rangers.
The New York Rangers are finally getting production from their superstars. Brad Richards may have saved the season in the final seconds of Game Five and he’s tied for the team lead in points with fellow offensive hero Marian Gaborik. The top seven scorers on the Rangers are all in the plus on the series. The Rangers have been the better team offensively and Lundqvist has been solid. If this holds, the Rangers could easily advance to play the Devils in the next round. Holtby needs to stay sharp if the Caps are going to have a chance in Game Seven.
Additionally, Alexander Ovechkin has been kept relatively in check by the New York Rangers this series. His four points in six games ties him for the team lead, but he hasn’t been spectacular. Even though he leads his team in scoring, he needs to be better. He’s scored in the last three games after failing to tally anything in two of the first three games this series. Not surprisingly, the Caps won two of the last three games but lost two of the first three games. His production has led to wins, and his struggles have led to losses. Without a multi-point game this series, it could all be on his shoulders in Game Seven – and is there anyone you’d rather have your season hanging in the balance with?
Maybe Henrik Lundqvist.
I have a rare opportunity to hedge my bets here, and I’m going to take the free money. After Game Three I put 2 units on the Caps to win the series at +270, which pays 5.4 units. The moneyline of -150 for the Rangers means, if it holds, I’ll put 3 units on New York and root for the Caps to pay 2.4 units of profit with no risk for loss. If anything, I’ll put a bit more on New York and take an automatic win. I don’t think there is value in the Rangers here at these odds and expect the odds to fall before game time. If they don’t, I think there is only value in the Caps.
Mostly, I’m just hoping for another triple-overtime thriller (where both teams destroy each other).
Capitals 3 – Rangers 2
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