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Rangers Capitals Betting - Capitals Encounter An Urgent Moment Against The Rangers

Posted by Don Melrose on 6/5/2014 4:03:20 AM

The Washington Capitals thrived in the first round of the NHL Playoffs because they didn't feel the pressure of the moment versus the Boston Bruins. Will they flinch in round two?

East Semifinals, Game 3: New York Rangers @ Washington Capitals – Wednesday, May 2  
Sports betting line: N/A

Why New York Will Win

When you make an online betting play in an NHL playoff series, the laws of averages don't always hold up, but they have to be taken into consideration. In the first game of this series, the Washington Capitals let a golden opportunity slip through their fingers, or more precisely, through their goalie's mitt and blocker. Washington's third-string goaltender, Braden Holtby – in for the injured Tomas Vokoun and second-stringer Michal Neuvirth – was outclassed by New York goalie Henrik Lundqvist. Holtby faced only 14 shots all afternoon on Saturday at Madison Square Garden, and three of them got past him. The outing was a very disappointing one for Holtby, who stood so tall in the Capitals' shocking first-round upset of the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins.

Holtby had outplayed Tim Thomas – arguably the best netminder in the sport – in the first round, outdueling him in an overtime Game 7 on the road in Beantown. Flowing from that conquest, Holtby figured to be overflowing with confidence heading into this series against the Rangers, but his Game 1 showing indicated something entirely different. It's true that this series is still getting going, but Holtby's very poor showing on Saturday, with a very light workload to boot, has to be extremely discouraging for the Capitals. The Rangers have to think that as long as they generate high-quality scoring chances each time they take the ice in this series, they'll be able to put the puck past Holtby on a few occasions.

This will fuel New York's confidence and give coach John Tortorella's team the belief that it will not have to live on the edge this time around. New York was extended to seven games by eighth-seeded Ottawa in the first round. The Rangers could very easily play with a lot more mental liberation now that they've overcome a big challenge as a favored team. If New York relaxes and plays to its potential, it is – and will be – the better team in Game 3 and the rest of the series as well.

Why Washington Will Win

When sports betting online for this game, you can look at the goaltending matchup, but it's also worth noting that Washington players grazed the post or crossbar on at least four occasions in Saturday's Game 1 against New York and Henrik Lundqvist. Washington pried open opportunities with its dissections of the Rangers' defense. The Capitals simply couldn't put the puck in the net, trying to be too fine with their angles due to the all-world abilities of Lundqvist, an intimidating goaltender. If Washington plays the way it did for the first 30 minutes of Game 1, when it outplayed the Rangers, it can win Game 3.

Who Will Win?

Washington will put up a fight, but even if the Caps perform well, Henrik Lundqvist has shown that he's capable of stealing games on the road in these playoffs. New York has a greater margin for error. That's a precious commodity in the playoffs.

NHL Betting Pick: New York Rangers


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