Rolling rivals collide this evening
Washington boasts the league’s best record at 33-11-6. Nevertheless, Barry Trotz’s troops are about to come face-to-face with an even hotter Eastern Conference outfit.
With a three-game winning streak in tow, Boston will visit the nation’s capital tonight. Online sports book Bovada.lv still gives Alex Ovechkin & Co. odds of -160 to take care of business at home. Conversely, the Bruins represent +140 underdogs.
In their first game after the All-Star break, the B’s used a third-period surge to subdue Tampa Bay. Zdeno Chara and Frank Vatrano netted goals in the final 20 minutes to secure a 4-3 victory for Claude Julien’s crew. Thanks largely to a terrific stretch on the road, Boston currently finds itself in a prime playoff position with 58 points.
The Capitals, however, set the pace for the entirety of the East. Despite Tuesday’s 3-2 setback at the hands of the Islanders, the Metropolitan Division stalwarts finished January with a 12-2-1 mark. More superb news: Defenseman John Carlson just returned to the lineup after a six-game absence due to a lower-body issue.
While Tuukka Rask’s in the midst of a spectacular season between the pipes, Braden Holtby has a reputation for being downright invincible vs. the Bruins. The veteran is 10-2 with a 1.69 GAA and .948 save percentage against the Original Six Franchise. Therefore, don’t expect a bevy of offensive heroics at the Verizon Center shortly.
WEDNESDAY NHL FREE PICK: BRUINS/CAPITALS UNDER 5 GOALS