NHL Betting – Can Ovechkin Back-Up Game 7 Guarantee?

Washington Capitals (+150) at New York Rangers (-170, 4.5 o/u)

Alexander Ovechkin’s guarantee of a win in Game 7 has garnered almost as much as attention from media as he’s received from New York’s defenseman. The “Great Eight” has been held without a point in four straight games now, during which he’s had 17 shots turned away by the “king,” Henrik Lundqvist. In a series in which every game has been decided by a goal, Ovechkin ending his mini slump could be the difference between moving on and booking tee-times.

We won’t have to wait long to learn whether his words were prophetic or misplaced as Game 7 bewteen the Rangers and Caps gets underway tomorrow night at Madison Square Garden (7:30 PM Eastern).

You don’t need to look far back in history to see the last time these teams met in a winner-take-all game. Washington’s last two postseason runs came to an end at the hands of the Rangers, losing 5-0 in Game 7 in 2013 and dropping a closer 2-1 affair back in 2012. But those losses came under different coaching staffs and Barry Trotz’s group already showed its mettle this playoffs beating out New York’s other team in a seven game series last round.

In order to move on, though, the Caps will have to solve Lundqvist, who in his career has a jaw-dropping .965 save percentage, a 1.00 goals against average, and a sterling 5-1 record in Game 7s. (His only loss came to the Capitals back in 2009.) Washington’s Braden Holtby has been strong these playoffs, amassing a .944 save percentage and a 1.71 GAA, but he will have no room for error at MSG.

Special teams could prove the difference maker – or lack of difference maker – for Washington. The Caps power play has been ineffective when given the opportunity and hasn’t scored a goal since Game 1, going 0 for 10 in that time. The Rangers have been slightly better, going 2 of 14 with the man advantage.

The Rangers’ Chris Kreider will look to keep his hot streak going after scoring two goals in Game 6 to double his total in the series.

Though Ovechkin is confident enough to promise a win, it’s hard to follow suit after looking at Lundqvist’s Game 7 track record. Expect another tight, low scoring affair, with the home team eking one out.

Pick: Rangers (-170).

(Photo credit: Wikimedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), via Wikimedia Commons.)

Boris

Hockey may be a wildly unpopular sport in the U.S., but where no one is paying attention, there's a ton of value for Boris to mine. An avid NHL fan of over 20 years, Malloy made his first bet against a friend during the 2001 Stanley Cup Finals (going against Ray Bourque) and has been hooked ever since. He has yet to pay off that debt of $2, but he's made plenty back since. In between worrying about the league's next lockout, he regularly contributes to MTS and is also fluent in football, basketball, baseball and French (sort of).