Henrik Lundqvist

Capitals, Rangers betting favorites for Stanley Cup Playoff matchups on Saturday

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Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals have not lost back-to-back home games all season, and oddsmakers believe they won’t start doing so on Saturday.

The Capitals are the -150 betting favorite against the +120 underdog Pittsburgh Penguins with a 5.5-goal total heading into their Game 2 matchup on Saturday at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Washington, which doubled the Penguins in shot attempts in Game 1 of the series yet lost, is 7-3 in its last 10 home playoff games when it was a favorite of -135 to -500 on the moneyline. In other words, they do tend to deliver when installed as a big home-ice favorite.

The Penguins, who are 7-3 in their last 10 games against the Metropolitan Division rival Capitals according to the OddsShark NHL Database, could have LW Carl Hagelin (lower body) in the lineup for the first time in seven weeks.

While Sidney Crosby is Sidney Crosby, the Penguins need more from center Evgeni Malkin and his line, which was shut out in Game 1.

The Capitals, even though they were the less rested team, outplayed Pittsburgh in Game 1. Along with Ovechkin and his longtime center Nicklas Backstrom, Evgeny Kuznetsov helms a strong second line.

The total has gone over in five of Pittsburgh’s last seven games on the road. The total has gone under in eight of Washington’s last 11 games.

The New York Rangers are a -120 favorite against the -110 underdog Ottawa Senators with a 5-goal total in Saturday’s playoff matinee. Chris Kreider, J.T. Miller and the Rangers’ offense-by-committee attack has been vexed by Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson, going 0-3 against him this season. If nothing else, the Rangers are due for a breakout against Anderson.

The Rangers were touted as having a deeper group of forwards, but Ottawa was able to go line-for-line with New York during the series opener. Ottawa, which is an excellent 10-3 at home this season against Metropolitan Division teams, will also have the biggest X-factor on the ice in the form of tireless defenseman Erik Karlsson.

Between Anderson in one net and Henrik Lundqvist between the pipes for the Rangers, goals could be at a premium. The total has gone under in four of the Rangers’ last five road games in Ottawa. Each team has seen the total go under in eight of its past 10 games.

Rangers home favorites vs. Flyers for Wednesday Night Rivalry

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Ryan McDonagh and the New York Rangers have been winning games without generating offense, which could catch up to them against the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday.

The host Rangers are a -175 betting favorite against the +145 underdog Flyers with a 5.5-goal total for their Metropolitan Division clash, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The Rangers, curiously, are only 4-6 in their last 10 home games at Madison Square Garden when they were a favorite of -150 or greater on the moneyline.

Philadelphia is 23-19-6 this season and is struggling significantly of late, with a 3-7 mark in their last 10 games. Captain Claude Giroux will have to buck two trends – one goal in his last 11 games overall and zero in his last 15 against the Rangers and superstar goalie Henrik Lundqvist.

Flyers goaltender Steve Mason is also coming off of an excellent performance during a 3-2 win against the New York Islanders on Sunday, which he will try to carry over against the Rangers.

The Flyers are 1-9 in their last 10 games as an underdog, as well as 2-8 in their last 10 games as a road underdog, according to the OddsShark NHL Database.

New York is 31-16-1, including 6-4 over their last 10 games. Bolstered by the standout goaltending of Lundqvist and leadership from the likes of McDonagh, the Rangers are 6-4 in their last 10 games as the favorite.

New York has had fewer than 20 shots on goal in each of their past two games, but won both. The Rangers rely on offense by committee and their depth will  be compromised with C  Kevin Hayes (leg) expected to miss the game. The likes of C Derek Stepan and LW Mats Zuccarello may have to pick up the slack. The Rangers’ power play is also in an 0-for-11 funk.

The Rangers are 2-0 at home against the Flyers this season, and won three of the four games last season when the goalie matchup was Mason against Lundqvist.

The total has gone over in five of the Flyers’ last 10 games. The total has gone under five of the last 10 times the Flyers were an underdog on the road with a moneyline of +140 or greater. The total has gone over in six of the Rangers’ last 10 games. The total has gone under only once in the Rangers’ last 10 home games against their division.