It is a back-to-back for both the Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals on Wednesday night as Boston visits Washington on NBCSN. The Bruins were in Tampa on Tuesday night while the Capitals were in New York. The edge should be with Washington as the travel is easier plus they are playing at home where they are 19-6 this season. It also helps that the Capitals have owned the Bruins recently, winning each of the last seven meetings.
This war on the ice will go down Wednesday, February 1, 2017, at 8 p.m. ET at the Verizon Center. The game will be televised live on NBCSN.
We'll have NHL odds at BookMaker.eu available for this and every game on the NHL Wednesday schedule.
Both teams came out of the All-Star break with games on the road on Tuesday night as Washington was at the Islanders while the Bruins were in Tampa. The Bruins were 13-15 in their first 28 road games while the Capitals are 19-6 at home.
The pressure is on the Bruins to win as rumors continue to circulate surrounding the status of head coach Claude Julien. "Claude isn't the issue. You fire the coach, what do you do? It's not going to change anything," Bruins winger Brad Marchand said, "Claude's one of the best coaches in the game. [The speculation about Julien's job security] is driven by the media, and we're not concerned about that in the [dressing] room. We're not thinking about that for a second."
Washington needed the break as head coach Barry Trotz said the schedule was catching up to his team. The Capitals had a stretch of 14 games in 26 days in January. “Our schedule was catching up to us,” Trotz said. “You could tell in our play. You could tell we had some tired legs out there. So, the break couldn’t come at a better time for us, really.”
The Bruins have been awful in the second half of back-to-backs recently as they are just 3-13 in their last 16. The Capitals haven’t been great but at least they are 10-10 in their last 20.
Boston gets a lot of shots but they don’t do much with them as they are first in the NHL in shots per game but just 23rd in the NHL in goals per game at 2.5. The power play is just 18th in the NHL at 17.4%. Boston has done well on the penalty kill as they rank 2nd in the league at 86.5%. They are 9th in goals allowed at 2.6 per contest.
The Capitals are 13th in the league on the power play at 20.7%. They are 5th in the league in goals per game at 3.2 per contest. Washington is very good in penalty killing at 4th in the NHL at 85.1%. The Capitals are first in the league in goals allowed at 2.1 per contest.
Boston has a top goaltender in Tuukka Rask who is 24-16 with a 2.15 goals against average. The problem for Boston is that Rask is going to get worn down unless he gets rest in the second half of the season. He played in 41 games in the first half of the season while Zane McIntrye played in just seven. McIntyre is 0-4 with a 3.95 goals against average.
The Capitals are in much better shape as they have Braden Holtby who is 24-12 with a 1.96 goals against average and a capable backup in Philipp Grubauer who is 9-4 with a 2.13 goals against average.
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There is no real reason to like the Bruins in this spot as they have been terrible in back-to-back situations lately and they have been getting crushed on a regular basis by the Capitals losing the last seven and they are 0-4 in the last four in Washington. I will lay the price and take the Capitals to get the home win.
NHL Odds: Capitals 4, Bruins 1
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