Rangers vs. Capitals Game 2 prediction: NHL playoffs odds, picks, props for Tuesday


The New York Rangers looked like kids in a candy shop in Game 1 against the Washington Capitals while executing a bounty of scoring chances. 

They outshot Washington, 31-21, with seven of those shots fired off the stick of Artemi Panarin.

The 120-point scorer potted the game-winning goal in the second period 33 seconds after Matt Rempe’s opening strike in the 4-1 victory

Oh, and that was after going scoreless on the power play in a game referees were calling penalties for blinking. The Rangers dictated tempo at five-on-five for the entirety of regulation, fostering three high-danger shots at even strength. 

We knew that the series would be a mismatch, but the Capitals were blatantly overwhelmed by the Rangers’ speed and physicality. 

I expect more of the same in Game 2, which should only benefit the most polarizing offensive factor on the ice in Panarin. 

Cutting his hair wasn’t the only change Panarin made since last postseason, when he ostensibly disappeared in the first-round loss against the Devils.

The Rangers celebrate a goal in their 4-1 win. Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

He responded by implementing a shoot-first mentality to his game, which has paid dividends for the Rangers.

Panarin has topped 3.5 shots in eight of his last nine games and averaged 3.7 throughout the regular season, which ranked inside the league’s top 10. 

Betting on the NHL?

The dynamic zone entry of Panarin’s line with Vincent Trocheck and Alexis Lafreniere has boosted the Rangers’ attack all season.

It should continue to offer Panarin looks off the rush and in set plays against a Capitals team that was left scratching its head.

THE PLAY: Artemi Panarin Over 3.5 shots (-135, BetMGM).

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