NHL Betting: Rangers v Capitals and Blues v Kings

New York Rangers v Washington Capitals

The New York Rangers and Washington Capitals are familiar playoff opponents, this series means they have met three times in the last four years and there will be plenty of intensity. The Capitals have come out on top on each of those recent occasions but the Rangers are much improved from last years loss in just five games and represent a different proposition.

Both teams came through the first round in seven games and haven't had any extended break between games, so expect them to be at the right intensity straight from the puck drop. There is good value at 2.35 for over 1.5 goals in the first period.

During the regular season they had two wins apiece and seeing as New York were unable to blow Ottawa away in the first round I can see this being a close series. At this early stage I would go with the Rangers to win seeing as they are at home, with odds of 2.00.

St Louis Blues v LA Kings

Expect a very different series between the St Louis Blues and Los Angeles Kings, as the league's two stingiest defences come up against each other. Goalies Jonathan Quick and Brian Elliott are central to this and should their excellent form continue this will be incredibly tense and tight. They have met twice in 2012, with each game settled by a 1-0 scoreline, back there to be fewer than 4.5 goals at 1.78.

The Blues are excellent at home and have had a longer break than LA to prepare for this game, time will tell whether that is an advantage or a hindrance but the hosts are the favourites at 1.60 including overtime.

Best Bet: Fewer than 4.5 total goals in St Louis v Los Angeles at 1.78