Capitals Fading as Regular Season Winds Down
The Washington Capitals looked like they might be a playoff contender earlier in the season but if you’ve seen the recent NHL news, this team is nowhere near that now.
The team is coming off a win over the lowly Chicago Blackhawks but it was their first in four tries. Next up is a showdown against a Pittsburgh Penguins team that has long been their rival. Can the Caps cash as a dog and surprise the Pens?
Capitals Having Major Defensive Problems
Nobody who bet online expected Washington to be the best defense in the league this season but even with low expectations, the team has been significantly laboring in that department.
Prior to their 6-1 win over the Blackhawks, the team had allowed 17 goals in the three previous games (all losses). Looking further back, the team has allowed at least four to an opponent in five of their last six.
If you’re looking at the NHL odds, don’t blame Caps goaltender Darcy Kuemper so much. The Cap’s leading goaltender has a .923 save percentage this month. The issue is the number of shots he’s facing.
Caps goaltenders have faced at least 39 shots in six of their last nine games. It’s hard to keep up when that’s the case.
Overall, Washington started the year on 23-14-6. Since then, they are just 11-17-2. That’s what makes it tough to take this team with your NHL picks.
Penguins Can’t Seem To Snap Out of Slump
If the Penguins are hoping to make any noise in the playoffs – or even get there – they better snap out of it. This is a team that’s lost four of five and has also been in a downtrend for months.
The Pens started the year 18-8-4 but have been 17-19-6 since. Part of that was the loss of starting goaltender Tristan Jarry to injury but he’s back now and the team is still sinking.
Jarry has a lousy .861 save percentage this month, giving up four goals or more in five of his last nine starts. He’s been pulled three times in his last nine outings. That’s what makes it tough to back the Pens on NHL lines.
Looking at the standings, the Pens are currently the last team in with 80 points. More play like this will likely push them below the cut line.
Capitals vs Penguins Game Injuries
Capitals vs Penguins Head-to-Head
The teams have squared off twice this season with the Pens winning 4-1 and the Capitals winning 3-2 in a shootout.
Capitals vs Penguins Game Information
- Game: Capitals (34-31-8) vs Penguins (35-27-10)
- Location: PNC Arena, Raleigh, NC
- Day/Time: Saturday, 8:00 p.m. ET
- Capitals vs Penguins Live stream: NHL.TV
Capitals vs Penguins Betting Lines
Capitals vs Penguins Picks and Prediction
This is a tough game to handicap in the sportsbook because neither team is playing well. The Pens have more to play for but that’s meant little over the last few weeks. As for the Caps, they look like they’re ready for their season-ending vacation.
Both meetings between the teams have stayed under but it feels like over is the best option for your sports bets. This is a Saturday night primetime game and both goaltenders are shaky right now. Look for some goals here and the two teams to get above the number.
Pittsburgh is listed at -145 in our Vegas lines. So, if you wager $100 on the Penguins, there’s a chance to win $69. Washington is +125 with a chance to win $125 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives the Penguins a 59.18% chance to win, with the Capitals at 44.44%.