NHL Betting Preview: Rangers host Capitals

By: Barry Daniels | Monday, November 8, 2010

Alex Ovechkin and the Caps carry a four-game win streak into New York.

A couple of streaks will be on the line Tuesday night when the New York Rangers host the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden. The Caps bring a four-game winning streak into this matchup, while the Rangers have played five straight ‘under’ contests.

The Capitals extended their winning streak to four games with Sunday’s 3-2 overtime victory against the Flyers as 175 home favorites. The combined five goals ducked ‘under’ the six-goal closing total, snapping a string of three consecutive ‘over’ games for the Caps.

Nevertheless, the ‘under’ is still 9-4-1 in Washington’s first 14 overall outings.

The victory concluded a very successful 3-0 homestand for the Caps, which saw them defeat Toronto in overtime, 5-4, and get the better of Boston, 5-3.

Though Washington defeated the Flyers by just one goal, the club completely out-played the Flyers with a 39-25 advantage in shots on goal.

The Caps, 2-for-6 on the power play against the Flyers, are now 7-for-17 with the man advantage in their last four games after going 0-for-16 in their previous five outings.

Mike Green scored the winning goal for the Caps, who are now 5-0 in overtime and 6-1 in one-goal games this season. The victory also snapped Philadelphia’s six-game winning streak.

Washington rookie netminder Braden Holtby, who was making his first NHL start, stopped 23-of-25 Flyers shots to register the victory. But Michal Neuvirth, Washington’s regular goalie is expected to get the start Tuesday against the Rangers. Neuvirth is 8-3-0-0 with a 2.41 GAA, .914 save percentage and one shutout.

Caps forward Brooks Laich missed the third period with an upper-body injury and is listed as “questionable.” Defenseman Tom Poti is also “questionable” with a lower body injury.

Washington’s offense is averaging 3.3 goals per game, which ranks second in the league. The club’s defense is rated eighth, allowing an average of 2.4 GPG. The Caps have the league’s 10th best power play, connecting on 20 percent of their opportunities.

The Rangers bring a string of five straight ‘under’ games into Tuesday’s contest thanks to some fine goaltending and shaky offense.

New York is off Sunday’s 2-0 loss against the Blues as a 130 home favorite on the NHL betting board. The ‘total’ closed at five goals. However, the Rangers had registered two shutout victories in the four games prior to Sunday’s action.

The two shutouts were recorded by Henrik Lundqvist against the Devils (3-0) and Maple Leafs (2-0). Lundqvist, who did not start in Sunday’s loss against the Blues, is now 6-4-1-0 with a 2.55 GAA and .924 save percentage.

Backup Martin Biron stopped 20-of-22 St. Louis shots in a losing effort to drop his record to 1-2. Biron has a 2.37 GAA and .901 save percentage in his three starts.

The Rangers lost despite out-shooting the Blues, 27-22. However, New York’s string of four straight games with a power play goal came to an end when the club went 0-for-4 with the man advantage.

John Tortorella’s troops are scoring and allowing an identical 2.7 goals per game. The New York offense ranks 17th, while its defense is 15th. The Rangers are also 16th on the power play, scoring on 16.7 percent of their opportunities with the man advantage.

High-scoring New York forward Marian Gaborik, missed Sunday’s game as he continues to recover from a separated left shoulder. The 28-year-old, who scored 42 goals and dished out 44 assists for the Rangers last season, is not expected to play Tuesday.

The Caps were 3-1 against the Rangers last season, with the ‘over’ going 2-1-1. All four games saw the ‘total’ close at six goals. Washington won both games at Madison Square Garden, 4-2 and 6-5.

The Rangers conclude their three-game homestand Thursday against Buffalo, while the Caps return home for a contest with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

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