Capitals vs. Rangers Prediction and Odds (Lackadaisical Defensive Effort Expected)

The Rangers hope to escape their final regular season game without injury as they host the Capitals tonight
The Rangers hope to escape their final regular season game without injury as they host the Capitals tonight / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

The end of the NHL season is upon us as the 51-24-6 New York Rangers host the 44-24-12 Washington Capitals tonight at 7:00 PM EST.

If the Capitals win tonight and the Penguins lose to Columbus, then the Rangers and Capitals will face off in the first round of the playoffs. Thus, I don't expect either team to put their full effort forth as they'll want to escape tonight without injury and not reveal too much strategy ahead of a potential opening round matchup.

Washington's offense has really struggled without Alex Ovechkin, scoring just five goals total in their last three games, all losses.

The Rangers have a three-game losing streak of their own but they've secured home ice advantage in the first round.

Which team has the edge tonight? Can the Capitals snap out of their funk or will New York end the year with a home win?

Let's check out the odds from WynnBET to help find out ahead of this matchup:

Capitals vs. Rangers Odds, Spread and Total

Puck Line:

  • Capitals: +1.5 (-260)
  • Rangers: -1.5 (+210)


  • Capitals: -110
  • Rangers: -110


  • 5.5 (Over -120/Under +100)

Capitals vs. Rangers Prediction and Pick

I'd expect both squads to trot out backup goalies tonight to ensure their starters stay healthy, and I don't anticipate a particularly fierce defensive bloodbath. As a result, the total is screaming with value.

We're getting a discount here based on Washington's offensive struggles the last few games. They've scored just a pair of goals total in their previous two contests, but the as the Rangers locked in their playoff position their defense has waned. New York has given up at least three goals in three straight, including four each in their last two.

It's almost like an NBA All-Star Game, in which neither team plays any defense and both squads are content to let the offenses run rampant. We can't risk being too physical or we'll risk injury, right? There will be the same psychology here.

The last thing either team wants to do is lose an important player to injury on a meaningless final regular season game, so I anticipate a lot of easy shot opportunities and lackadaisical defense. Give me the over for all the glory.

Pick: Over 5.5 (-120)

Follow all of Joe Summers' betting picks here.