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The focus has shifted to ice time as the Washington Capitals prepare to host the New York Rangers in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series. With the best-of-seven shifting to DC, much of the attention is on Capitals head coach Dale Hunter’s decision to reduce superstar Alex Ovechkin’s playing time. Ovechkin played a career-low 13 1/2 minutes in Game 2, but scored the game winner as Washington evened the series at a game apiece.
Rangers Capitals Betting
When: 7:30 PM ET, Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Where: Verizon Center, Washington, District Of Columbia
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, NBCS, CBC
Opening Line: Washington Capitals Money line: -115 Spread: -1.5 (+270) Total: 4.5 CLICK HERE to bet on the NHL Playoffs at BOVADA
New York Rangers: New York did well to battle back from a 2-0 deficit and tie the game early in the third period, but took a pair of costly penalties after evening the score – the second of which led to Ovechkin’s go-ahead power-play goal. “It’s a tie game, you can’t take four minutes in penalties,” Rangers head coach John Tortorella said afterward. “You’re not gonna win a hockey game like that.” Veteran C Brian Boyle returned to the lineup after missing three games with a concussion, finishing with one shot on goal in just over 15 minutes of ice time.
Washington Capitals: While media and fans scrutinize Hunter’s personnel decisions, the players say they support their coach all the way. “To be honest, it’s not even something that we notice,” said Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner. “We don’t go down the sheet at the end of the game and say, ‘How much did ‘Ovi’ play?’ You know he wants to play more, and he’s frustrated by not playing 20 minutes. But he doesn’t care – he wants to win that game.” Part of the reason for the diminished ice time is the play of Washington’s third and fourth lines, which have performed well in the postseason.
1. The Capitals recalled goaltender Dany Sabourin, defenseman Sean Collins and forward Cody Eakin from their American Hockey League affiliate in Hershey as insurance.
2. The Rangers have won just one of their last five visits to Washington.
PREDICTION: Capitals 3, Rangers 1. CLICK HERE for 500 Handicappers Package FOR 5$