The Washington Capitals and the New York Rangers will wrap up their respective seasons at Madison Square Garden on Friday night.
The Capitals still have something to play for in Game 82, as a win and a Penguins loss would help improve their playoff seeding. The Rangers have been locked into home-ice advantage for the first round since losing to the Hurricanes on Tuesday and mailed in their 4-3 loss to the Canadiens on Wednesday by resting many of their regular skaters.
Will it be the Caps or the Blueshirts who end the year on a high note? Find out in our free NHL picks and predictions for Capitals vs. Rangers on Friday, April 29.
Capitals vs Rangers odds
This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.
The moneyline consensus for this game opened as a -106/-106 coin-flip on Thursday, and little has changed since. But the Over has seen some action since the consensus total was unveiled at 5.5 goals, as some 6.0s have begun to appear.
Capitals vs Rangers predictions
Predictions made on 4/29/2022 at 12:00 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.
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Capitals vs Rangers game info
• Location: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
• Date: Friday, April 29, 2022
• Puck drop: 7:00 p.m. ET
• TV: NBCS-WSH, MSG
Capitals vs Rangers betting preview
Capitals: Alex Ovechkin LW (Questionable), Carl Hagelin LW (Out).
Rangers: Andrew Copp C (Questionable), Artemi Panarin LW (Questionable), Tyler Motte C (Out).
Find our latest NHL injury reports.
Capitals vs Rangers head-to-head record
Capitals: 5-5, 29 goals for.
Rangers: 5-5, 31 goals for.
Betting trend to know
The Over is 18-6-2 in the Capitals’ last 26 games vs. Eastern Conference opponents. Find more NHL betting trends for Capitals vs. Rangers.
Capitals vs Rangers picks and predictions
Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.
There are some red flags for the Capitals going into this game, but the Rangers are waving the white flag. Bettors shouldn’t think twice about backing Washington here.
Legendary Caps left winger Alex Ovechkin is dealing with an upper-body injury, and is considered day-to-day. But considering head coach Peter Laviolette told reporters that Ovechkin wouldn’t have suited up on Thursday even if it were a playoff game, and that Ovechkin said “we’ll see” in regard to his status for Game 1 of his club’s quarterfinals series, bettors should not be counting on Ovechkin skating in New York.
Even without Ovechkin, the Capitals should be able to manufacture some offense on Friday night. Defenseman John Carlson had led all Washington skaters this month with 15 points, with center Evgeny Kuznetsov close behind at 12 points. They’ll attack a Rangers blueline that featured NHL/AHL rovers Zac Jones and Libor Hajek as their leading skaters by time on ice on Wednesday.
The Blueshirts are likely to send out Alexandar Georgiev to tend goal in this one, and his play has been a far cry from that of Vezina Trophy favorite Igor Shesterkin this season. Georgiev has a 2.95 GAA and a .896 save percentage on the year. Without top-notch defensemen Adam Fox and Jacob Trouba in front of him, Georgiev allowed four goals to hapless Montreal on Wednesday night.
The Capitals’ goalie situation with Ilya Samsonov (3.02 GAA, .896 save percentage) expected in net for Friday isn’t much better, but their skaters should control the flow of play with Mika Zibanejad, Artemi Panarin, Chris Kreider and a host of others all expected to sit out once more for New York.
Prediction: Capitals moneyline (-107 at Unibet)
A dearth of NHL-caliber talent on the Rangers’ side should help this game sail over the total.
The physicality level is not expected to be high, with New York looking ahead to the start of the postseason. The Capitals should gain the offensive zone with relative ease and attack the vulnerable Georgiev from there.
Some youngsters who are skating for the Blueshirts — like Filip Chytil, Kaapo Kakko, and Alexis Lafrenière — possess plenty of talent and are eager to show head coach Gerard Gallant that they’re capable of contributing in the playoffs. They draw a plum matchup with Samsonov, who owns a 3.38 GAA and .879 save percentage this month.
The Rangers are 16th in goals per game (3.0) this year but fourth in power-play percentage (25.5%), which speaks to good coaching that can help make up for a lack of talent on the ice.
Trend bettors should note that the Over is 6-1 in the Capitals’ last seven games in the third game of a 3-in-4 days situation, and 11-2 in their last 13 road games.
Prediction: Over 5.5 (-120 at DraftKings)
The fact that money isn’t flying in on Washington when New York is clearly in surrender mode is quite surprising, but bettors shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth.
The Caps will have trouble advancing in the playoffs if Ovechkin is either out or hobbled and with their goaltending situation being what it is. This roster is still plenty capable of dispatching a team that will dress mostly AHL-level talent on Friday night, and perhaps handily.
The trends suggest Washington is a wise wager, as it’s 8-3 in its last 11 road games, and 23-9 in its last 32 games in the third game of a 3-in-4 situation.
Pick: Capitals moneyline (-107 at Unibet)
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