NHL Playoff Odds - Penguins at Capitals Game Seven Preview


Don’t look now, but the Washington Capitals are looking to erase a decade’s worth of playoff frustration in one fell swoop. The team that has failed to make it out of the first two rounds of the postseason despite having one of the league’s most talented players has erased a 3-1 deficit and now gets a winner-take-all Game 7 on home ice. Knocking out the team that sent them home for the summer last season, the Pittsburgh Penguins, would make the win all the more significant.

Don’t miss the action on the ice from the Verizon Center in the nation’s capital at 7:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. Catch every moment of the game live on NBCSN. We will have NHL playoff hockey odds at BookMaker.eu for every postseason game.

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It was a dominant showing from the Capitals in Game 6. Washington controlled the game from beginning to end, tallying five goals before Pittsburgh scored two late to make the game a little respectable. It took Pittsburgh 17 minutes to even get its first shot on net and the Penguins finished with just 18 shots against Braden Holtby all night.

That has been a continuing theme in this series as the Caps have outshot the Penguins in every game. Although Pittsburgh’s defense somewhat limited Washington, by only allowing the Caps to put 26 pucks on net, their lowest total all series, it was mostly because the game had largely been decided by that point.

Matchup to Watch

These goalies have had completely different workloads in this series and you’d be mistaken for believing that Pittsburgh has the Vezina Trophy finalist. Marc-Andre Fleury has stood on his head and kept the Penguins alive while Washington has controlled the game and peppered him with shots. Fleury may have been lit up in his last two outings, but has played pretty well this series all things considered and has not had the bonehead mistakes that have plagued him in the past.

As for Braden Holtby, he has only seen more than 24 shots in a game once this series, but is still allowing at least two goals an outing. Although Pittsburgh has some of the most feared snipers in the league, Sidney Crosby’s concussion makes this a less dangerous team than it typically is and Holtby needs to seize upon that.

Player to Watch

This has to be Evgeni Malkin’s time. Crosby should probably not even be on the ice given his history of concussions and has been a ghost of himself for the past two games. That puts the onus on Malkin to lead this team while Crosby is not 100 percent.

Malkin had a great series against Columbus and led all scorers in total points after the first round with 11. He was generous with the helpers in that series, setting up his teammates nine times in all.

Although he has put up solid numbers against Washington, Pittsburgh needs more production. The Penguins are relying on him to provide the offensive spark this team needs and they may need a multiple point game from him if they are going to get past the Caps and win the series.

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Washington finally got its power play going in Game 6 with two goals on four chances. The Caps have now tallied five power play goals on 21 chances in this series, compared to only three goals on 20 chances for the Penguins.

This is the chance that the Capitals have been waiting for. There are no more excuses for Alexander Ovechkin and the boys who need to win this one for the psyche of Capitals fans everywhere. It will be a tight game, but in the end, the Caps will be able to pull out a late goal and finally vanquish their demons.

NHL Playoff Odds: Capitals 3, Penguins 2

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