The Washington Capitals shouldn't have made the playoffs. They had the worst goal differential since 1991, finishing with a -36. The New York Rangers finished with 114 points and won the President's Trophy. They had a +53 goal differential, 89 goals better than their opponents. It would be easy to count the Capitals out of this series, but they managed to make it this far so why couldn't they shock the world and take down the top team in the league? Stranger things have happened, and if we know anything about the NHL Playoffs, expect the unexpected. It is time to continue our NHL Playoffs odds series with a Capitals-Rangers prediction, pick, and how-to-watch.

The Capitals lost six consecutive games through the beginning of April. Everyone had fun with the possibility of the Capitals advancing to the playoffs with one of the worst goal differentials of the modern era, but it looked like their poor underlying numbers were finally catching up to them. A loss to Pittsburgh in the middle of that stretch, one of the teams chasing them, seemed like the end. Thanks to the rest of the contending teams taking some tough losses, the Capitals managed to sneak into the final wild-card spot.

The Rangers have been a steady force all season long. The President's Trophy didn't seem like a huge possibility, as teams in the West and Atlantic were ahead of them all season long. When those teams began mailing it in before the playoffs, the Rangers remained consistent, winning seven of their last ten games and taking the President's Trophy with their dominating 4-0 shutout win in their final game.

Here are the NHL Odds, courtesy of FanDuel. 

NHL Playoffs Odds: Capitals-Rangers Game 1 Odds

Washington Capitals: +1.5 (-146)

Moneyline: +188

New York Rangers: -1.5 (+122)

Moneyline: -230

Over: 5.5 (+100)

Under: 5.5 (-122)

How to Watch Capitals vs. Rangers Game 1

Time: 3 PM ET/noon PT


Stream: fuboTV (Click for free trial)

Why The Capitals Will Cover The Spread/Win

Charlie Lindgren was the main reason that the Capitals dusted themselves off in the second half of the season. He went on a tear to end it, winning four of the last five games and allowing only four goals in those four wins. It seems too easy to say that the Capitals will win if they get good goaltending, but their offensive depth simply doesn't match up to the Rangers in a seven-game series.

Their regular season matchups support the goaltending theory. The teams split their four games, and Washington did well at limiting the Rangers offense. In Washington's wins, they had a 4-0 shutout and a 3-2 victory. The Rangers had a big 5-1 win in December, then ground out a 2-1 matchup to end their season series.

Why The Rangers Will Cover The Spread/Win

The Rangers thought they had a goaltending problem with the play of Jonathan Quick and Igor Shesterkin's struggles. However, Shesterkin cleaned up his play, finishing his final ten games with a 7-3 record and a .911 save percentage. He ended the season on a high note with a 25-save shutout over the Ottawa Senators.

The Rangers offense scored 3.4 goals per game over the regular season, and the way they ended the season showed no signs of slowing down. It's one thing to put up those numbers over a full season, but in the last ten games, the Rangers maintained it by scoring 3.4 goals per game. Lindgren put the Capitals in this position, but he's going to struggle to keep it going.

Final Capitals-Rangers Prediction & Pick

The Capitals held the Rangers offense at bay all season, and it could continue. However, the playoffs are a different animal, and you can expect the Rangers to come out firing on all cylinders in Game 1 at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers will also be inspired by the possible surprising return of Filip Chytil. Take the Rangers to win big.

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Final Capitals-Rangers Prediction & Pick: Rangers -1.5 (+122)