There are few rivalries in the NHL, not to mention all of sports, that can rank with the one between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals. To start with their respective team captains are superstars that have had their own personal rivalry for the past decade. Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby and Washington’s Alex Ovechkin are destined for the Hall of Fame and still in their prime. Add to the fact that these teams have been the last two Stanley Cup champions and you have the makings of something big.
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Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Washington Capitals
Date and Time: Wednesday, December 19, 2018, 9 p.m. ET
Location: Capital One Arena, Washington, DC
NHL Betting Online Odds at Boomaker.eu: Check Back Later
Penguins vs. Capitals TV Coverage: NBCSN
Betting action should be pretty even on these teams. Certainly, each club is highly popular and respected with gamblers as consistent contenders. Furthermore, both teams are in good form recently. Live betting action will be among the most intense of the NHL season with super power teams and their superstar players in what is considered a dead heat matchup.
It took a couple of months but Pittsburgh has finally made their move. The Penguins have won five of their last seven games to climb into third place in the Metropolitan Division standings. The Penguins now boast an improved record of 15-11-4-2 with 15-13-4 over the total. On the road the Pens are 6-5-2-2 with 7-7-1 on totals.
Washington is 20-9-2-1 and is one of the hottest teams on the board in any sport. The Capitals have gotten the money in eight of their last ten games with just two of their last 10 games going under the total. The Caps lead the Metropolitan Division standings. Washington is a profitable 10-4-1-1 at home with a mark of 9-5-2 over the total. The Caps have gone under the total in just 11 of their 32 games this season.
Washington ranks second in the NHL for goal scoring and fifth for the power play. Offsetting that are NHL rankings of 18th for goals against and 27th for penalty killing.
Pittsburgh has NHL rankings of seventh for goal scoring and 10th for the power play. Counter to that are marks of 20th in the NHL for goals against and seventh for penalty killing.
Washington’s Braden Holtby has recovered from a poor start with a much-improved save percentage of .910 and two shutouts, Holtby has a 2.90 goals against average with a record of 13-7-2.
Casey DeSmith has filled in for the inured Matt Murray and may steal the job. DeSmith has a save percentage of .923 with a 2.46 goals against average and two shutouts. Murray backstopped the 2016 and 2017 Stanley Cup championships for Pittsburgh but was slumping badly before his lower body injury last month. Murry is out indefinitely giving DeSmith the opportunity to win the gig.
Players to Watch
Naturally Sidney Crosby headlines the marquee for the Penguins. And Sid the Kid has a team best 15 goals, 20 assists, and a plus-10. Crosby benefits from plenty of secondary scoring help as the Penguins have one of the deepest lineups in the NHL. Evgeni Malkin, Phil Kessel, Jake Guentzel, and Patric Hornqvist are all consistent threats to light the lamp.
Washington captain Alex Ovechkin remains in top form with a team high 29 goals, 14 assists and a plus 14. The Great Eight has eight power plays goals. Niklas Backstrom and defenseman John Carlson are assist machines with 30 helpers each.
Free NHL Live Betting Odds Pick
The Capitals have gotten the cash in their last three home games with the Penguins. Based on their home record and great current form Washington rates more impressively at this time.
NHL Live Betting Odds Picks: Washington Capitals
NHL Score Prediction:Capitals 4, Penguins 2
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