Alexander Ovechkin’s incredible career is winding down, and the big question now is whether he’ll supplant Wayne Gretzky as the NHL’s all-time leading goal scorer.
Ovechkin is 64 goals shy of the Great One’s record 894 career goals. He’ll now make his 74th career start against the Rangers, who’ve given up 42 goals to Ovechkin over the years.
Here we examine Rangers vs. Capitals odds, props and predictions ahead of Saturday’s showdown. Puck drop is set for 1 p.m. ET at Capital One Arena with live coverage on ABC.
The two teams will meet again on Sunday at Madison Square Garden as part of a home and home series.
Rangers vs. Capitals odds: Puck line, moneyline & total
Let’s take a look at live NHL betting odds for Rangers vs. Capitals at top-rated sportsbooks:
The Rangers recorded a 5-1 victory over the Capitals on Dec. 27 at Madison Square Garden. Washington shut New York out 4-0 in the first meeting this season.
Rangers betting news: New York in the midst of slump, still leads Metropolitan Division
The Rangers (26-12-2) have the NHL’s best power play as they’ve converted on 30.1% of their opportunities with a man advantage.
Leading scorer Artemi Panarin (26 goals and 58 points) scored a power play goal in New York’s recent 5-1 win over Washington. The Rangers finished 1-for-3 on the power play and killed off both chances for the Capitals.
New York leads the Metropolitan Division, and the Rangers are betting favorite to win it at . That said, New York is in the midst of a slump in the new year. Check out the last five games:
- Blues 5, Rangers 2
- Canucks 6, Rangers 3
- Canadiens 4, Rangers 3
- Rangers 4, Blackhawks 1
- Hurricanes 6, Rangers 1
That makes Saturday’s game against Metropolitan Division rival Washington even more critical. Igor Shesterkin remains one of the top goalies in the NHL, but he’s struggled by his lofty standards this season.
Shesterkin is 16-10-0 with a 2.90 goals against average. He’s lost three of his last four starts and given up 18 goals during that span.
New York doesn’t lack for scoring goals, but its defense needs to tighten up in front of Shesterkin going forward.
Capitals betting news: Washington among NHL’s lowest scoring teams
The Capitals (19-14-6) are second to last in the Metropolitan Division and a full 10 points behind the Rangers in the standings.
Washington suffers from a dearth of scoring as the Capitals average just 2.4 goals per game. Only San Jose (86) has scored fewer goals than Washington (92) on the season.
Ovechkin, at 38, remains Washington’s top points producer with eight goals and 19 assists through 39 games. The Capitals have three double-digit goal scorers in Dylan Strome (15), Tom Wilson (11), and Anthony Mantha (11).
The return of right wing T.J. Oshie should help Washington’s offensive production. Oshie had been on injured reserve with a lower body injury for nearly a month before returning in Thursday night’s 4-1 home loss to the Seattle Kraken.
Wilson, among Washington’s top scorers, missed the game due to a broken nose. His day-to-day status means he could miss Saturday’s game, as well.
The Capitals also welcomed back starting goalie Charlie Lindgren from IR this week. Lindgren was injured in a loss to the Islanders on Dec. 29.
Lindgren was a key component to Washington’s early success after going 7-3-3 with a 2.27 goals against average and a .928 save percentage. Lindgren has posted two shutouts this season.
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Rangers vs. Capitals props
Let’s take a look at Rangers vs. Capitals player props on the teams’ highest scorers for the season.
Panarin is fifth among all NHL goal scorers with 26. He trails Toronto’s Auston Matthews (33) by seven goals.
Save your money on Ovie. He’s a longshot to win in either of these betting markets.
Rangers vs. Capitals prediction
After suffering a home loss, Washington has won the last six afternoon games at Capital One Arena. With Oshie back in the lineup — and hopefully Lindgren in net — consider betting the Capitals on the moneyline at plus odds against the slumping Blueshirts here.
Source : ESPN.com