New York Rangers (-105) at Washington Capitals (-115, 4.5 o/u)
The New York Rangers were mere minutes away from elimination in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Washington Capitals. New York came back late to win 2-1, though, and force a Game 6, which will take place tonight in D.C. (7:00 PM Eastern).
Down three-games-to-one, the Blueshirts found themselves trailing 1-0 with under two to play in Game 5. With the season on the line, Chris Kreider was finally able to solve Caps goalie Braden Holtby with a snap shot from the slot that the screened tender couldn’t see. Captain Ryan McDonagh then sent the home crowd into euphoria nine minutes into OT as he rifled home a one-timer from Derek Stepan.
The Rangers had been snake bitten by Holtby in Games 3 and 4, scoring just one goal over the previous 120 minutes. McDonagh described the stoic morale on the New York bench as Game 5 ticked away and a doughnut remained next to the Ranger name on the scoreboard.
“It can be tough at times, and it showed tonight when you’re getting good looks like that. It’s about finding a way, and I loved our attitude on the bench. Even those last couple of minutes there, I had a feeling that someone was going to find a way, and sure enough [Kreider] gives us a chance in overtime,” said the captain to the official league website.
New York fired 37 shots on Holtby in regulation and another six in OT. The Caps, meanwhile, were only able to test Ranger goals Henrik Lundqvist 29 times in total.
Curtis Glencross was the only Capital able to solve the Swede, banging home his own rebound on a breakaway midway through the third. Washington’s star winger Alex Ovechkin was limited to just two shots on net in the loss.
The loss continued a concerning trend for Ovechkin and company, who are now just 3-9 when they have a chance to eliminate their opponent.
For today’s game, the linemakers have noted the extraordinary goaltending and set the O/U at a minuscule 4.5. Both teams are due for an offensive breakout and have the snipers to put the puck in the net. Consider the over for today’s game.
(Photo credit: Robert Kowal (Rick Nash) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo has been cropped.)