NHL Hockey Betting: Pittsburgh Penguins at Washington Capitals

NHL Hockey Betting:  Pittsburgh Penguins at Washington Capitals&h=235&w=320&zc=1

This might not be the Summit Series of 1972 between Canada and the USSR but the battle between Sidney Crosby’s Pittsburgh Penguins and Alex Ovechkin’s Washington Capitals is a good one. Crosby is the captain of the Canadian National Hockey team so that should give those of us ‘North of the Border’ a solid rooting interest in this game. Game One was a very hard fought contest that was eventually decided in overtime by a member of the US National Hockey team–T.J. Oshie who completed a hat trick in the process. Game Two goes tonight and it’ll be a battle between the best team in the regular season (Washington) against the hottest team down the stretch (Pittsburgh).

This has the feel of a series that will go at least six or seven games. Washington needs to give a big thanks to their goaltender, Braden Holtby who faced 45 shots from the Penguins’ offense. That being said, the Capitals did a good job managing tempo and using their physicality to counteract Pittsburgh’s speed. Another issue for the Penguins is getting Sidney Crosby involved. Crosby was fairly quiet in Game One and how goes Sid goes the Penguins. The more he’s involved and the better he does, the better for the Penguins.

Pittsburgh has won 8 of the last 14 head to head including five of the last eight in Washington. Pittsburgh won three of five games during the 2015-2016 regular season. The Penguins aren’t known as a stout defensive team but they’ve responded well after allowing 4 or more goals–in their subsequent game they’re 12-4 +8.2 units. This is a crucial game for the Penguins and they can very well win this matchup. Matt Murray was good but not great in goal in Game One but given that he’s 3-1 in the playoffs and a 21 year old rookie pressed into service by the concussion suffered by Marc-Andre Fleury it’s hard to pin much of the blame on him. In fact, he’s done a very impressive job in a brutally tough situation with a 9-2-1 regular season record and a 3-1 playoff record.

This looks to be a dead even series and as such we have no problem taking the Penguins at ‘plus money’ to tie it at one game each heading back to the ‘Steel City’.


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