Three straight defeats take the New York Rangers (5th in East Division) to their last domestic contest at Madison Square Garden this season, with the Washington Capitals (1st in the East) paying a visit on the back of three straight road wins.
Caps Triumph In ManhattanThe Washington Capitals (33-14-5) recovered from a two-game losing skid (0-1-1), with both defeats coming against the Pittsburgh Penguins in D.C., after beating the New York Rangers with a count of 6-3 at Madison Square Garden on Monday. Playing with just 10 forwards after Alex Ovechkin (24 goals, 42 points this year) lasted just 39 seconds on his return following a four-game layoff with a lower-body injury before leaving the game with discomfort, the Caps saw six of them get on the scoreboard. Tom Wilson (13 goals, 33 points), for one, picked up an empty-netter, an assist, a double-minor penalty for roughing and a 10-minute misconduct.
Goalie Vitek Vanecek stopped 23 shots on Monday to take his current performance status to 19-9-4 for the season with a 2.76 GAA and a .907 save percentage. He has registered a 2-3-0 past tally against the Blueshirts with a 2.84 GAA and a .899 save percentage, while Ilya Samsonov (13-4-1 on the year with a 2.69 GAA and a .902 save percentage), who missed the previous fixture due to disciplinary reasons, is 1-1-1 versus the Rangers historically with a 4.07 GAA and a .855 save percentage. The Capitals are 2nd in most goals scored per game (3.42), 14th in most goals allowed on average (2.94), 3rd best in power play (26.1%) and tied-7th with New York in penalty kill (83.2%).
Rangers Lose Playoff RaceThe New York Rangers (26-21-6) were dealt their third consecutive defeat (0-3-0) after dropping a 6-3 decision against the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden on Monday, thus being officially eliminated from contention to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Blueshirts killed their only penalty and went 1-for-4 with the man-advantage, but were outshot 40-26 and squandered a 3-2 second-period lead after conceding four unanswered snipes throughout the last two frames. Mika Zibanejad (22 goals, 48 points this year) tallied twice, while Kaapo Kakko (17 points) banked his ninth strike of the season.
Goalie Igor Shesterkin made 34 saves on Monday and has now gone 15-13-3 for the ongoing campaign with a 2.53 GAA and a .918 save percentage. He has registered a 3-1-0 previous record against the Capitals with a 2.53 GAA and a .924 save percentage. The Rangers, meanwhile, are scoring the 11th highest number of goals per game this season (3.19), while giving up the 10th lowest quantity in their defensive zone (2.70). The team ranks 12th in power play with a 21.1% success rate and is tied-7th with Washington in penalty kill with 83.2% proficiency.
Washington (according to Covers.com)
- Capitals are 1-4 in their last 5 meetings with Rangers in New York.
- Capitals are 1-4 in their last 5 Wednesday games.
NY Rangers (according to Covers.com)
- Rangers are 5-0 in their last 5 when their opponent scores 5 goals or more in their previous game.
- Rangers are 9-4 in their last 13 home games.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The Rangers have not won their last home game of a regular season since the 2016-17 campaign. Still, do consider banking on New York to finish its domestic campaign on a high this year! The Rangers have been quite impressive when playing on own ice lately, triumphing on nine of the past 13 occasions. They have also impressed when bouncing back from heavy domestic defeats, winning four of their previous five outings following a home loss by a margin of at least three strikes. The Capitals have been solid on the road recently, but have only managed to gather one victory on their past five trips to Manhattan, posting exactly the same total when skating on their last five Wednesdays.
Full-Game Total Pick
The very last three clashes between the Rangers and the Capitals have all delivered plenty of strikes, recording an average of 8.33 tallies per matchup. So, expecting another high-scoring game between the two sides is definitely a pretty good idea! Six of the previous seven road contests of Washington have also witnessed a ton of markers, averaging no less than 8.67 snipes per outing, while six of the most recent eight games of the Blueshirts against teams with a winning percentage above the .600 mark have all finished with at least six goals on the scoreboard.