One of the greatest and most intense rivalries in all of sports, let alone the National Hockey League, will renew on Wednesday night from the nation’s capital, as the Washington Capitals will host the defending Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins on what is most appropriately named Wednesday “Rivalry Night.” Not only does the game offer up two of the top perennial contenders in the NHL but also two of its top big name marquee superstars in Sidney Crosby of the Penguins and the rampaging red hot Alex Ovechkin of the Caps.
This war on the ice will go down Wednesday, October 20, 2017, at 7:30 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 Wednesday NHL schedule.
The Penguins will have a good deal of public money bet their way as is always the case, as they are the most recognizable team to the casual hockey betting public and among the most respected teams on the board with hard core hockey handicappers. The Capitals are also highly popular and respected with the casual NHL betting public as one of the top regular season teams each NHL season. Ovechkin remains a superstar and despite the fact that he is yet to deliver Lord Stanley’s Cup to DC, he will most certainly go down as the savior of the franchise and its most impactful and important player. Until Ovechkin there was no rocking of the red and empty seats were plentiful for Caps games. Washington also brings in a lot of over betting money due to their emphasis on offense.
So far in this young season the defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins look like they have a major hangover and have been reading their own headlines too much. Pittsburgh won just one out of their first three games and was annihilated 10-1 at the Chicago Blackhawks in their second game. The one thing that remains the same for Pittsburgh is the tandem of centers Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Crosby has one goal with four assists to lead the Pens in scoring while Malkin has one goal and three assists. The Capitals on the other hand won their first two games as Ovechkin has been on a tear with back to back hat tricks and a total of seven goals. Capitals center Evgeni Kuznetsov has benefited from the hot hand of “The Great Eight” with seven assists.
Pittsburgh Antti Niemi replaced Marc Andre Fleury as the number two goalie and was the unfortunate victim of the shelling at Chicago. Regular starter Matt Murray has been subpar with a .879 save percentage.
Caps goalie Braden Holtby has a save percentage of .930 to show that he is in top midseason form.
Pittsburgh and Washington have split their last 10 games with five wins per team. The last eight meetings have seen the Caps and Pens go over the total four times and under the total four times.
Pittsburgh has won three out of their last four games against the Capitals at Washington with six out of the last nine meetings between the Caps and Pens at Washington going over the total.
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This is always an intense series as Crosby and Ovechkin are personal rivals, which only serves to magnify the rivalry of the two teams, who fight it out each year in the Metropolitan Division during the regular season and often in high stakes Eastern Conference playoff matches.
The Pens and Crosby seem to show their professional and organizational pride more often than not in these matchups and the Caps tend to get bet too high in their high profile home games. I will take Pittsburgh as a power road team betting value and also play the game over the total.
NHL Odds: Penguins 4, Capitals 3
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