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NHL Betting – Look For Penguins To Continue To Roll, Caps To Get Back On Track

Posted by Don Melrose on 12/3/2010 4:34:22 PM
nhl betting trends

Two months in to the National Hockey League online sports betting schedule, and it’s no surprise to see a couple of familiar powers on top of the Eastern conference standings. The Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals have been red hot lately, with Sidney Crosby’s Penguins heading in to this weekend on an eight-game winning streak, and Alex Ovechkin’s Capitals with points in seven of their last ten. The two teams have a combined plus-38 goal differential, and are among the conference leaders in goals. This, of course, is no surprise.

Crosby has led the way for the Penguins, both on the ice and in the locker room. The captain scored the natural hat trick in Thursday night’s 3-2 win over the Atlanta Thrashers, the second time in as many NHL betting odds home games that Crosby has scored three goals. He now has 15 goals and 14 assists during a 14-game scoring streak, re-establishing himself as the league’s leading scorer right next to Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning, the man he tied for the scoring lead last season. Crosby’s presence has also been felt off the ice in the locker room, where he has not only affected the play of his teammates with his exceptional leadership and poise, but also has made an impact on the decisions of the coaching staff. It was Crosby that lobbied for netminder Marc-Andre Fleury to be leaned on despite his early season struggles, and that influence from the captain influences head coach Dan Bylsma to turn back to Fleury after using back up Brent Johnson. The move paid off, as Fleury has won seven straight games, and hasn’t allowed more than two goals in any of his last five.

The Capitals on the other hand have used a much more balanced scoring attack to get the job done in the Southeast division NHL standings. While Ovechkin leads the team in both assists (23), and points (33), Alex Semin has been on an absolute tear with 18 goals. Semin is playing the final season of his current contract, and is second on the team in points, one ahead of Nicklas Backstrom. Netminder Semyon Varlamov has returned with some solid play of late, registering a 1.72 goals against average after missing the first few weeks of the season due to injury. With a solid young core, and the firepower up front on a group that leads the league in scoring, the Capitals are flying high.

Heading in to this hockey betting weekend, the Penguins and Capitals both appear to have favorable match ups. Pittsburgh is on the road in Columbus, a team that has struggled at both ends of the ice, while Washington welcomes the same Atlanta team that cooled off with its first loss in seven games on Thursday. Both should be quality betting options to keep their hot streaks going, two teams to keep your eye on this betting weekend.

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