NHL Hockey Betting: Ottawa Senators at Washington Capitals

NHL Hockey Betting:  Ottawa Senators at Washington Capitals&h=235&w=320&zc=1

The Ottawa Senators have been treading water in the Atlantic Division lately. They’re tied for sixth place though once you get past the division leading Florida Panthers it’s all up for grabs. Detroit and Montreal are tied for second place with 49 points but only ten total points separate second and seventh place. Only 3 points separate the #2 through #6 teams. The playoffs are there for the taking but the Senators haven’t shown much urgency in their play lately with a 4-5-1 record in their last ten. They are coming off a nice 2-1 home win over Boston last night but their ‘reward’ is a quick turnaround game on the road against the best team in the NHL.

The Washington Capitals also played last night, beating the New York Rangers 4-3 at Madison Square Garden. The back to back setting does give the Senators something of a break–they won’t be facing the Caps’ ironman goalie Braden Holtby. Instead, Philipp Grubauer will likely make his eighth start of the year against the Senators’ enigmatic ‘Hamburglar’ Andrew Hammond. Hammond absolutely tore it up late in the regular season last year but has been the victim of erratic play and injuries this season. He’s only started eight games this season as Craig Anderson has reclaimed the starting gig.

The back-to-back game scenario looks to favor Washington. The Caps are 4-3 in this situation while the Senators are a woeful 2-5 in the second game in two days. But you don’t need to parse statistics to see the Capitals’ superiority. They’re 31-10 +17.6 units overall and 13-4 when scoring four or more goals in their previous game. Translation–when the Capitals’ offense is humming they win games. They’ve also been a team capable of stringing together wins–after a 3 game unbeaten streak the Capitals are 11-3 this season. Perhaps the most significant component to the Capitals’ success this season is their domination of weaker teams–Washington is 15-5 +7.6 units against teams with a losing record.

Washington just doesn’t lose much these days. They’ve won 11 of their last 13 games and will have four days off after this game before they host Vancouver on January 14. The Senators will head West with games in Anaheim, Los Angeles and San Jose on tap. Ottawa has a 4-3-0 edge in the last seven head to head and has a split in the last four in Washington. Just can’t advise stepping in front of this Capitals’ freight train.


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