Washington Capitals at Pittsburgh Penguins NHL Odds

Capitals at Penguins NHL Betting

Pittsburgh general manager Jim Rutherford's abrupt resignation stunned the hockey world. Ron Hextall arrives as the new GM with Brian Burke as the newly inaugurated team president. A lot of folks in the NHL community see Rutherford's departure as a revelation. Pittsburgh has the look of a team with a Stanley Cup window slamming shut. In fact, Burke himself shared that view as a radio and TV commentator earlier this season. Poor defense remains a Pittsburgh concern. At Washington, the back end is always a worry. Since coach Barry Trotz departed after the 2018 Stanley Cup, Washington lost its 200-foot structure. In particular, Alex Ovechkin significantly regressed on the backcheck without Trotz.

Washington Capitals at Pittsburgh Penguins Betting Odds

When: Sunday, February 14, 2021, 3 p.m. ET

Where: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


Bookmaker Odds: Check Back Later

Capitals at Penguins Bookmaker Wagering Odds Analysis

Pittsburgh and Washington are two of the NHL's top name brands. Each team is a recent Stanley Cup champion. Pittsburgh won the Cup in 2016 and 2017, with Washington winning in 2018. Namely, superstars Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin draw TV eyeballs and wagering handle.

Washington Looking for a Defense Department

Washington has lost three of their last four games, and four of their last five have cleared the Betting on NHL total. Washington's record is 6-3-3 with 9-3 over the total. As a result, the Capitals are third in the East Division. NHL metrics have the Capitals ranked 4th for goal scoring and 2nd for the power play. Defensively Washington is 27th for goals against and 14th for penalty killing.

The Capitals hired new head coach Peter Laviolette for one last Stanley Cup run. Laviolette has a Stanley Cup title and three conference championships in his career.

So far, new number one goaltender Vitek Vanecek has been effective with a .902 save percentage and 3.18 goals against average. Center Nicklas Backstrom leads Washington with six goals and 11 assists. And then marquee man and left wing Alex Ovechkin adds five goals and seven assists.

Penguins Desperately Try to Keep Stanley's Window Open

Pittsburgh has lost three of their last four games, with three of their previous five tilts going under the total. Pittsburgh stands at 5-5-1 and 7-3 over the total. 5th place in the East Division is where the Penguins reside. Overall, Pittsburgh ranks 20th for goal scoring and 24th for the power play. Defensively the Penguins rank 29th for goals against and 25th for the penalty kill. Of great concern is the combination of subpar goals against and the lack of secondary scoring depth.

Naturally, the Penguins open general manager position generated considerable interest. Ron Hextall arrives after earning high marks at Philadelphia, where fans and ownership ran out of patience with him. Hextall is much more appreciated since he departed. He left the Flyers with a strong core roster.

Pittsburgh is still seen as a team with enough pieces to build around. Counter to that is hockey people that have written them off as too old where it matters most.

Center Sidney Crosby leads Pittsburgh with four goals and five assists, but also with a minus-four. A big eyesore is the combined save percentage of .867 for goaltenders Tristan Jarry and Casey DeSmith.

Washington Capitals at Pittsburgh Penguins Against the Odds

Pittsburgh has five hockey betting payouts in their last six against the Capitals, with all six of those games going over the total. Pittsburgh has won five of their last seven home games with the Caps as five of those games went over the total.

Washington Capitals at Pittsburgh Penguins Bookmaker Free Pick

Pittsburgh will want to impress its new leadership team and has no margin for error in this condensed season.

Capitals at Penguins Bookmaker Best Bet: Pittsburgh Penguins

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