East barn-burner on tap in nation's capital

Eastern Conference thriller on tap in nation's capital

Connor McDavid has already accomplished a great deal during his brief career. But can the 20-year-old wunderkind power Edmonton past the league-leading Capitals tonight?

The clubs will drop the puck at 7 p.m. ET on the East Coast. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives Washington odds of -210 to emerge victorious. Conversely, the Oilers enter the Verizon Center as +170 underdogs.

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With 20 goals and 48 assists, McDavid is the NHL’s top scorer at the three-quarter pole. It’s far from a one-man band in Alberta, though, as coach Todd McLellan boasts eight different skaters with at least 11 markers. As a result, the Oilers keep moving toward their first playoff berth since 2006.

The Caps, of course, know all about securing enviable postseason seeds. Alex Ovechkin and his friends are on pace to claim the organization’s second straight Presidents’ Trophy. The only possible worry at the moment: Both forward Andre Burakovsky (hand) and defenseman Matt Niskanen (lower body) could miss significant action.

Bet on This Evening's Games

While we’re digging Edmonton’s return to relevance, there should be questions pertaining to the visiting team’s ability to solve Braden Holtby shortly. Washington’s All-Star netminder lowered his GAA to a sparkling 1.99 with a 33-save performance in Wednesday’s 4-1 triumph over Philadelphia. He’s been tremendous in lifetime appearances against the Oilers, too, making us lean toward the host group.

 

FRIDAY NHL FREE PICK: CAPITALS -1.5

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