In last spring’s Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Washington Capitals scored what was considered to be one of the most significant triumphs in their 40+ seasons of existence when they upset the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round. The Penguins were not only the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions but they also owned their rivalry series with the Caps to the point that everyone knew they were in Washington’s head. But the Capitals took the series in six games despite blowing the opener at home and of course went on to their first ever Stanley Cup title. Washington hosts Pittsburgh on Wednesday night.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Washington Capitals
Date and Time: Wednesday, November 7, 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Capital One Arena
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Penguins vs. Capitals TV Coverage: NBCSN
With the last two Stanley Cup champion teams squaring off on NBCSN and with two of the highest profile superstars in the game in Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby and Washington’s Alex Ovechkin this game figures to draw some of the biggest NHL live betting traffic so far this season. And there should be the opportunity for good value on each side during various live betting stages as both teams are highly respected with the public.
Washington has been sluggish out of the gate with a probable Stanley Cup hangover. The Capitals are 5-4-2-1 overall with nine of their 12 games going over the total. Worse yet the Caps have lost three of their last four.
Pittsburgh is 6-3-1-2 overall with just five of their games going over the total. The Penguins have lost three of their last four overall with three of those games going over the total.
It’s no surprise that the Capitals rank second in the NHL for goal scoring and first for power play efficiency. What is alarming is their ranking of 28th for goals against the 23rd for penalty killing. This is where the departure of head coach Barry Trotz is likely costing the Caps. Trotz got a full commitment by the players for a full 200-foot game. New head coach Todd Reirden is not getting that same effort. Of concern is Pittsburgh’s ranking as the top goal scoring team in the NHL.
Pittsburgh has been an effective betting value in road games recently with four payouts in their last five games away from home. Three of their last five away tilts have gone under the total.
Washington has not provided good home betting value this year with three losses in their last four games on home ice. The Caps have gone over the total in six of their last seven games at Capital One Arena.
Washington’s Stanley Cup hero goaltender Braden Holtby has been horrible so far on the season with a .888 save percentage and 3.62 goals against average.
Pittsburgh’s Matt Murray has also slumped with an .890 save percentage and 3.68 goals against average. Backup Casey DeSmith is getting more playing time due to his .933 save percentage.
Head to Head
Washington has won four of their last six meetings with the Penguins with three of the last five meetings going over the total. In the only previous game between these teams this year the Penguins paid in a 7-6 home victory that soared over the total. The Capitals have won their last two home games with the Penguins. Five of the last six in this matchup at Capital One Arena have gone under the total.
Syd the Kid vs. the Great Eight
Sidney Crosby has six goals and eight assists with a plus five for Pittsburgh. Washington’s Alex Ovechkin has 10 goals with six assists but has slipped to a minus-four.
Free NHL Live Betting Odds Pick
Washington has been sloppy but has the revenge angle after getting embarrassed at Pittsburgh. The Caps have been strong at home against the Pens.
NHL Live Betting Odds Picks: Washington Capitals
NHL Score Prediction:Capitals 4, Penguins 2
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