In need of points in order to keep their Stanley Cup playoff hopes alive, Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals tangle with the Edmonton Oilers Wednesday night on TNT. Washington enters the week with a nice lead for the second wild card spot and still has visions of moving up in the standings. After a torrid start to the season the Oilers have settled into the middle of the pack in the Western Conference, just outside the playoff picture. With the season hitting the back slope points are at a premium meaning this game should have a playoff like atmosphere.
The matchup between the Washington Capitals and Edmonton Oilers takes place at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday, March 9, 2022, from Rogers Place in Edmonton and will air live on TNT. BookMaker.eu will have odds for every game on the Wednesday NHL schedule.
NHL Betting Lines at BookMaker.eu
With the standings in both conferences so congested, the smallest slump can put a club in a tough spot. And conversely a team can make up ground with a run of success. Following a three-game losing streak where the offense sputtered scoring just five goals, the Caps got back on track with convincing wins over Carolina and Seattle ahead of their road trip through Western Canada. I think it’s safe to say the Caps are no longer an elite team in the NHL with wins in 30 of their first 57 games, but they’ve been decent on the road going 16-7-4 while being up $257 on the moneyline. Washington’s nine extra-time defeats have gotten them valuable points in the standings, but they’ve also left the Caps at just 29-28 against the puck line.
The Oilers responded to new coach Jay Woodcroft by winning their first five games after he took over on Feb. 10. It’s been a struggle over the last seven games, though, with only two wins. And more disturbing are the most recent setbacks. The Oilers lost to Chicago 4-3 in overtime on Thursday and were beaten 5-3 at home by Montreal on Saturday. Those teams aren’t even close to sniffing the postseason. The Oilers are just a few points out of the final wild card spot, but like I said, a small slump can be harmful at this point. At 30-22-4 entering the week, the Oilers are $421 in the red on the moneyline with the OVER 6-3-1 in their last 10 games.
Being in a playoff race only makes Ovechkin’s chase for history that much more exciting. Ovi scored his 34th goal of the season and 764th of his career on Saturday. More importantly, the Caps won the game giving them a boost of momentum as they hit the road. And when Ovi is hot the offense is a threat. He had just three goals in 11 games before scoring in back-to-back contests. He’s among the league leaders in goals helping the Caps tally nine times against Carolina and Seattle.
The Caps have seemingly turned things around after a difficult start to 2022. They dropped 14 of their first 22 games since the start of the year, but they stayed in contention and look a lot like the team we saw at the beginning of the season. Another positive sign was the power-play, which clicked for two goals in each of the last two games. Still, the Caps rank in the bottom half in power-play percentage.
The Oilers are one of the most exciting teams in the NHL with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl leading the league’s fourth-ranked power play. But having the two highest scorers should bring more offense and more wins. That hasn’t been the case this season and it hasn’t helped in years past. One reason why we’re seeing the Oilers regress compared to last season is their defense and goaltending.
Outside of their top two scorers the Oilers haven’t gotten much. It puts tons of pressure on McDavid and Draisaitl, who have to play at a high level every night. The absence of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Tyson Barrie and Jesse Puljujarvi also leaves a huge hole in the secondary scoring market, which has been aided by the signing of Evander Kane. But the Oilers have surrendered over half a goal per game more than they did last season.
NHL Odds Pick
If it’s about marketing the game’s best players on the biggest stage the Oilers need to be in the playoffs. You have to win games, though, and they’ve struggled to do that over the last two weeks. The Oilers catch Washington in the second of a back-to-back that should help them. And the Caps allow plenty of chances that McDavid and Draisaitl can take advantage of putting Edmonton in position to get a much-needed victory.
NHL Odds Prediction: Edmonton 5, Washington 4
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