Capitals Hope to Halt Mini-Slide
Injuries are slowing down the two perennial playoff teams with the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-4-2 and the Washington Capitals 4-6-1 in the month of January. The Penguins and Capitals hold down the two wild-card spots in the Eastern Conference. However, Buffalo and Florida are gaining ground.
All-time greats Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin have taken some of the attention off leaky play in their own end, with both teams allowing more than three goals per game in January.
Pittsburgh can move over .500 on the road with a victory. The Penguins are 1-6-1 in their last eight road games with five of those losses coming in one-goal games. Washington returns home after losing twice during a three-game road trip. The Capitals are 1-3-1 at home in January.
The Penguins are without the top goalie Tristan Jarry. Wingers Josh Archibald and Kasperi Kapanen are on injured reserve, as is defenseman Jan Rutta.
Forwards T.J. Oshie, Niklas Backstrom, and Tom Wilson are all questionable for Washington. The Capitals are already without defenseman John Carlson and forwards Connor Brown, Nic Dowd and Carl Hagelin.
According to the NHL playoff odds, the Penguins (+2200) are tied for 10th in the odds to win the Stanley Cup title while the Capitals (+4000) are tied for 17th.
Let’s check the latest NHL news, stats, injury reports, and NHL lines for Penguins vs Capitals. We’ve got plenty of NHL picks for you to consider.
What a Return
Does Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang know how to make a splash?
Letang missed 11 games in a row as he recovered from a stroke and also dealt with the death of his father.
Playing for the first time since a Dec. 28 overtime loss against Detroit, Letang had two goals and two assists. He had the game-winning goal in overtime in a wild 7-6 game against visiting Florida.
Watching this again this morning… and we’re still emotional.
Letang scores OT winner in surreal return: https://t.co/30i88aLjN2 pic.twitter.com/0vsr152tze
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) January 25, 2023
Letang wasn’t exactly eased back into the lineup as he was second to fellow defenseman Jeff Petry in time on the ice. He played 26:29 and had six shots on goal.
Pittsburgh is now 4-1 this season when Letang has at least two points in a game and the Penguins have won 10 games in a row when Letang has two goals.
The NHL betting lines total has gone under in five of Pittsburgh’s last seven games against Eastern Conference teams as well as in nine of the last 11 matchups against Metropolitan Division rivals.
Struggling for Consistency
The Capitals haven’t won back-to-back games since late December when they topped visiting Winnipeg 4-1 on Dec. 23 and blanked the New York Rangers 4-0 on the road four days later.
Washington is 0-4-1 in the game following a win, dating back to a 4-3 overtime loss at home to Ottawa on Dec. 29.
The Capitals have been outscored 19-9 in the games after wins in the month of January. In the two more recent occurrences, the Capitals have allowed 10 goals on 49 shots for a save percentage of .796. As a point of reference, the lowest save percentage from a goalie appearing in at least 10 games this season is .868.
Darcy Kuemper has a .906 save percentage in the nine games he played in during January while Charlie Lindgren has allowed eight goals on 51 shots during that time.
The Las Vegas odds total has gone over in six of the last eight games Washington played against teams from the Eastern Conference.
Penguins vs Capitals Game Injuries
Penguins vs Capitals Head-to-Head
The teams have split their last 10 meetings with the visiting team winning eight times.
Jake Guentzel had a goal and an assist as Pittsburgh topped Washington 4-1 on Nov. 9 in the first meeting of the season. There were 14 penalty minutes issued over the last 6½ minutes in what was an otherwise pretty subdued matchup.
Guentzel also led the Penguins with five points (one goal, four assists) against Washington a season ago even though he missed one of the four games. Bryan Rust led the way with three goals. For Washington, Evgeny Kuznetsov had three goals and two assists against the Penguins while Tom Wilson had two goals and three assists.
Four of the last five games between the teams went over the total.
Penguins vs Capitals Game Information
- Game: Penguins (24-15-8) vs Capitals (25-19-6)
- Location: Capital One Arena, Washington, DC
- Day/Time: Thursday, Jan. 26, 7 p.m. ET
- Penguins vs Capitals Live stream: NHL.TV
Penguins vs Capitals Betting Lines
Penguins vs Capitals Picks and Prediction
Both Pittsburgh and Washington are in need of wins to hold off the teams behind them erasing the gap they have in the playoff race.
Ovechkin is tied for the team lead with five goals in January, with four of those coming at even strength for Washington. Crosby leads Pittsburgh with 14 points during that stretch so what magic will the two rivals conjure up as they meet once again?
Six of Pittsburgh’s last eight games have been decided by one goal. The Penguins won three of those contests while Washington has split the last four one-goal affairs it has played. Don’t be surprised to see this end as a one-goal game.
The Capitals are 14-8-2 as the favorite with the Penguins just 1-8-1 when listed by the sportsbook as the underdog.
The Pittsburgh Penguins are listed at +100 in our Las Vegas odds. This means that if you wager $100 on the Penguins, you have a chance to win $100. Washington is -120, offering a chance to win $83 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives the Pittsburgh Penguins a 50.00% chance to win, with the Washington Capitals at 54.55%.