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Betting On Bruins Capitals – Bruins Send Caps To The Brink Of Elimination

Posted by Don Melrose on 4/18/2012 3:28:47 PM

Online betting sharps who were waiting for the Boston-Washington series to get physical got it in Game 3, and now the Capitals may be without their first-line center, which will surely hurt their chances when they host the Bruins in Game 4 on Thursday night.

What: NHL Betting
When: Thursday, April 19th, 7:30 PM ET
Where: Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.
Pick: Boston Bruins

Why Bet On Boston Bruins

The Bruins took a 2-1 lead in the series with a 4-3 win in Washington on Monday night, and captain Zdeno Chara led from the back with the game-winning goal to go with two assists and he was second on the team to Milan Lucic with seven hits. Brian Rolston, Daniel Paille and Rich Peverly also got on the scoresheet while Tim Thomas stopped 29 shots for the Bruins, who finally got to Washington rookie goalie Braden Holtby, and they won this game in the way they won last year’s Stanley Cup: by being tougher than the other team. The Bruins had 58 hits to the Capitals’ 36, and even though Lucic didn’t have a point, he may have been the Bruins’ most important player outside of Chara. The British Columbia native had eight hits and eight penalty minutes, and he was in the middle of most of the scrums that took place. Lucic is a handful for any team in the league with his combination of size and skill, and when he is being physical, he attracts more attention, which creates space for his teammates.

Boston may be getting goaltender Tuukka Rask (groin) back at some point in this series, but that’s not really important as Thomas is the No.1 guy and will be throughout the run. Defenseman Adam McQuaid (head) hasn’t resumed skating yet either, but the Bruins are set for depth and they have enough weapons to put this series in a real strangehold. The matchup turned nasty at the end of Game 3, and that may suit their chances better because you don’t want to challenge Boston to a street fight.

Why Bet On Washington Capitals

The Capitals’ NHL betting chances for Game 4 may drop a little if Nicklas Backstrom is suspended for his cross-check to the face of Peverly at the end of Game 3. Backstrom earned a match penalty, which nets an automatic suspension, but it could be overturned by the league and with the way discipline has been handed out in the playoffs, we have no idea what is going to happen. Backstrom had an assist in Game 3, while Brooks Laich notched a goal and two assists, Alex Ovechkin had a goal and an assist and Alex Semin netted a single marker for the Capitals. Holtby finally came back down to earth a little with 25 saves on 29 shots, and that was to be expected after the rookie played out of his mind in Boston. The Capitals should be down two games to none and only Holtby’s heroics carried them on the road, and now he has to re-focus because he didn’t play very well at home.

Neither Tomas Vokoun (groin) or Michal Neuvirth (lower body) appears to be coming back any time soon, so the Capitals have to ride with their rookie, which makes his play in Game 4 even more important. This is especially true if the Capitals are without Backstrom, who is just starting to get back to his best after missing the better part of four months with concussion problems. He only came back late in the regular season, but he is rounding into form and the Capitals need their best players on the ice if they’re going to avoid a 3-1 deficit going back to Boston. If not, Ovechkin and Semin have to continue to fill the net.

How It Will Play Out

Washington should be the NHL betting favorites at home in this massive Game 4, although it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Boston as the road favorites and if Backstrom isn’t in the lineup, all bets are off. The Capitals won three of four with the Bruins in the regular season, but the postseason is a different animal and the Bruins are raising their game to the level they showed when they won the Cup last season.

Simply put, Boston is a better team and built for this time of year, while the Capitals aren’t and even though they had some bad breaks in goal with injuries to their top two netminders, they still have to put in some work on their postseason play. The Bruins will take a 3-1 series lead back to Boston, so pick them in your sports betting book on Thursday.

Bruins Capitals Betting Pick: Boston Bruins

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