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Penguins vs Capitals Picks – Pens Will Get Capped

Posted by Don Melrose on 3/23/2010 2:54:43 PM
NHL Odds: Capitals

The Washington Capitals (48-14-10) hold the best record in the NHL and can clinch the Eastern Conference when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins (42-25-6) on Wednesday. Already 16 points clear of the second place Penguins, the Caps will look to improve on their stellar 26-4-4 home record and take the season series between the clubs.

Penguins vs Capitals betting odds: Capitals
  • What: NHL Betting
  • When: Wednesday, March 24 – 7:00pm EST
  • Where: Verizon Center – Washington, DC
  • Key Stat: Though he has missed 10 games this year, Alexander Ovechkin is on pace for career highs of 60 assists and 112 points.

The Storyline – Penguins vs Capitals picks

In the third matchup between the two biggest names in the NHL, Ovechkin and his Capitals will be trying for a third straight win over Sydney Crosby and company this year. The two previous games were high scoring affairs with nine goals scored in each contest and this will be a trend that continues as both teams score and allow a large number of goals. Washington is just going through the motions as it has already ran away with the conference while the Pens are trying to put distance between themselves and third place Buffalo.

Offensive Matchups – Capitals vs Penguins picks

Those doing sports betting should know the Caps have seven players with over 20 goals and could have an eighth by the end of the season. They are by far the best offensive team in the league as they have scored a whopping 279 goals in 72 games this season; 46 more then the next best team. Their offensive capabilities allow them to stay in games even when struggling at the defensive end and so they have only five losses of more than one goal on the season. Opposing teams just cannot take penalties as the Capitals average a power-play goal a game at 25 percent efficiency.

The Penguins are no slouches on offense scoring 2.97 goals per game; good for fifth in the league. Led by Crosby, who has already set a career high with 45 goals, the Penguins have the second best offense in the conference however they have struggled mightily with their power-play. Capitalizing on just 17 percent of attempts it is a part of their game which is puzzling considering it boasts Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Sergei Gonchar who each have over 25 power-play points this year.

Betting Edge: Capitals

Defensive Matchups – Capitals vs Penguins picks

Jose Theodore is 16-0-2 in his last 18 games and while he has gotten a lot of offensive support to work with, he has a 1.81 GAA in six games this month. He is notoriously good against the Penguins over his career with a 17-4-1-2 record against them while stopping over 91 percent of shots. They will need to stay out of the penalty box as they own one of the worst penalty killing units in the league stopping just 79 percent of power-plays.

Pittsburgh is capable of shutting teams down however they have a tendency to prefer the wide open games that ultimately end up in high scores. They would be wise to abandon that plan as it has burned them twice against the Capitals already this year. Pittsburgh has been struggling on defence as for over a month allowing three or more goals in 11 of their last 15 games. This is not good when going up against an offensive powerhouse like Washington that has scored 17 goals in its last four games.

Betting Edge: Penguins

Notable Injuries – Capitals vs Penguins picks

Milan Jurcina is still out until at least the first round of the playoffs with a sports hernia and Boyd Gordon is out with a wonky back but is expected back soon.

Evgeni Malkin has missed three of four games due to a nagging foot injury and, while the Penguins expect him back against Washington, it is unknown whether he will be at 100 percent.

Betting Edge: Capitals

Betting Prediction – Capitals vs Penguins picks

The experts doing the sportsbook know that Ovechkin has five goals and seven points in the two games against the Penguins this year and after three goals in his last 11 games, he will be looking to get back on track against a team that he has burned over his whole career. This is a matchup between Ovechkin and Crosby however the rest of the Washington team is just too good for the Penguins to keep up.

Don’s Pick: Capitals

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