NHL Hockey Betting: Washington Capitals at Pittsburgh Penguins

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

The Pittsburgh Penguins were outplayed in Game Three of their series against the Washington Capitals. Washington held Pittsburgh to just 23 shots while generating a barrage of 49 shots against Penguins’ goalie Matt Murray. The 21 year old rookie rose to the occasion and then some, stopping 47 of 49 shots as Pittsburgh scored three goals on what was clearly an ‘off night’ for Braden Holtby. The end result was a 3-2 Pittsburgh win and a 2-1 series lead heading into Game Four.

The Capitals must surely be frustrated after coming out on the losing end after such a strong effort. They need to remind themselves that things like this happen in hockey. If they do essentially the same thing in Game Four that the did in Game Three they should win. Everything about Game Four is shaping up well for a Capitals’ victory. A major factor could be the one game suspension to Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang. Letang is out for his interference/illegal hit against the Caps’ Marcus Johansson and that’s a huge loss for Pittsburgh. Letang has been playing 30+ minutes per game and is valuable not only for his play on defense but his ability to get the puck up ice and start a rush. He’s not easily replaced, if at all.

Another interesting twist to the matchup–Marc Andre Fleury has been upgraded to ‘expected to be available’ for Game Four. No indication that he’ll start–and if he does the Penguins need to have their head examined given the way that Matt Murray has played in his absence–but this is one of the first signs that the team has given that Fleury is anywhere near a return to action following his late season concussion. Of course ‘expected to be available’ doesn’t mean much–it could end up being Jeff Zatkoff as Murray’s backup once again.

Everything about this series suggests that it’ll go six or seven games. The Washington Capitals did everything right in Game Three except win the game. That was due to a combination of a rare ‘off night’ for Braden Holtby and a monstrous performance by Matt Murray. If they do the same things here that they did in Game Three–and particularly with Letang out of action–they will very likely win this game.


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