A pair of Stanley Cup contenders meet this Tuesday evening in the nation’s capital. The Washington Capitals are a slight underdog per the NHL betting lines as they play host to last season’s President’s Trophy winners, the Colorado Avalanche. Both teams are looking to bounce back following defeats.
Colorado has been dominant for the past two seasons, but Washington has the edge over them in recent meetings. The Capitals are 8-2-0 against Colorado and 2-1-0 in their last three meetings.
|Team||Puck Line||Moneyline||Total||Team Total|
|Colorado||+1½ +215||-125||6 -115o||2½ -160o/+120u|
|Washington||-1½ -255||+105||6 -105u||3½ +125o/-165u|
Avalanche: The New Guy
Colorado let in early goals against St. Louis and never recovered. The five goals the Avs gave up were the most since April 28. Goaltender Darcy Kuemper will need to bounce back as Colorado still outplayed St. Louis.
The Avalanche were without star center Nathan MacKinnon and defenseman Jack Johnson due to quarantine while team captain Gabriel Landeskog was serving a suspension for his hit on Kirby Dach. But, even shorthanded, the Avalanche were favorites to beat the Blues.
Kuemper may get the nod here again. He has a .939 save percent in two career games against Washington. He will need to put on a better performance than what he showed against St. Louis as the Capitals will be testing him more.
Capitals: Fire Everything
The Capitals remain one of the oldest teams in the NHL, but that hasn’t stopped them from playing fast and aggressively. The team opened fast against the New York Rangers and never looked back. Against reigning Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay, the Capitals put up a fight and outshot them though they could not beat Andrei Vasilevskiy in the 2-1 setback.
Ilya Samsonov will get the start for Washington, his first one this season. He had a bit of regression last season with his goals saved above average (GSAA) dropping to -3.0 from 2.3 in his rookie campaign.
Washington does not make it a habit to rely too heavily on its goaltenders. The Capitals were in the top 10 in the league in scoring chances and shooting percent last season. “A great defense is a great offense” can be this team’s motto.
MacKinnon is questionable to play and Landeskog will still be out. The Avalanche could use MacKinnon’s playmaking and Landeskog’s physicality against the Caps. Still, Colorado is the more skilled team and should once again control the action.
With that said, controlling the puck is barely half of what it takes to win. The Capitals were only 12th last season in corsi for percent but they were fifth in wins. This team does not need too much possession time to make something, hence why they’re a popular team to bet online.
It may come down to which netminder can stand tall. Kuemper has shown more of an ability to steal games by standing on his head. However, he also has struggled in spurts, especially if he is not seeing plenty of action. This could be the case here as Samsonov holds off the Avalanche.
Pick: Washington Capitals +105
We’re going against the grain with this player prop: Alex Ovechkin will not register more than three shots on goal against Colorado. “Ovie” averaged 6.5 shots on goal in his last two games against Colorado and is averaging 4.85 in 20 career games against the Avs. But Colorado should be able to minimize his attempts, and Washington’s, here. Bet the under on the sportsbook.