The Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins get a quick rematch on Monday night with the Penguins looking for some revenge. The teams met on Wednesday night in Washington with the Capitals winning by a score of 4-2. The Penguins have not played well this season against Washington as they also lost 7-1 in Washington in mid-November. The good news for the Penguins is that this game is in Pittsburgh where they have won the last five meetings against the Capitals.
This war on the ice will go down Monday, January 16, 2017, at 7 p.m. ET at the PPG Paints Arena. 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 Monday schedule.
This is not a good spot for the Capitals as they will be starting a three-game road trip and facing the dreaded 3-in-4 situation and with no rest. They were home against Chicago on Friday, off on Saturday, home vs. the Flyers on Sunday and now they have to go to Pittsburgh on Monday with no rest. The Capitals are 11-8 on the road this season with 8 games going over, 5 going under with 6 pushes.
The Penguins are in a better scheduling spot as they were off on Sunday after completing a three-game road trip in Detroit on Saturday. Pittsburgh is a superb 18-4 at home this season with 14 games going over, 5 going under with 3 pushes.
The Capitals are scoring 2.9 goals per game which is 7th in the league but their power play hasn’t been that great as they are 16th in the league at just 18%. What has saved the Capitals has been their penalty killing as they are 3rd in the league at nearly 86%. The Capitals are leading the league in fewest goals allowed at just 2 per contest.
The Penguins are rolling on offense as they average 3.5 goals per game and their power play is 3rd in the league at 23.2%. They have not been good on the penalty kill at 79% which is 24th in the league but it has been better than it was early in the season. The Penguins are 18th in the league in goals allowed at 2.8 per contest.
I don’t look at the last meeting that often when handicapping the games but this time I will because it happened less than a week ago. The Capitals won 5-2 at home on Wednesday with Alexander Ovechkin scoring twice. The Capitals are doing everything right at the moment. "I think you can see how we play 5-on-5, obviously penalty kill do an unbelievable job and Holts unstoppable right now," Ovechkin said. "We're winning, but I hope the best hockey's going to be a little bit later."
Washington was energized by the crowd and when they score first they are virtually unbeatable as they are 22-3-3 when getting the first goal this season. It is worth noting that Matt Murray was backing up Marc-Andre Fleury for this contest for Pittsburgh. Murray had missed some time due to a lower-body injury but he should be ready for action again and he was the clear number one starter before getting hurt. Murray is 13-4 this season with a 2.18 goals against average while Fleury is 13-10 with a 3.11 goals against average.
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This has been a home team series of late with the Capitals winning both games in Washington this season while the Penguins have won the last five in Pittsburgh. The Penguins have not lost at home to the Capitals since December of 2015. I like the situation for the Penguins in this game on Monday and Pittsburgh has been excellent at home this season so I will take the Penguins to get the home win.
NHL Odds: Penguins 4, Capitals 1
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