Ducks, Caps to stress D in marquee matchup?
With the chase for hockey’s sacred silver chalice only weeks away, tonight’s Capitals-Ducks battle promises to function as one doozy of an appetizer.
Online sports book BetDSI likes host Anaheim to extend its franchise-record winning streak to 12 when NHL-best Washington rolls into the Honda Center at 10 p.m. EST. The Ducks are netting odds of -135 to prevail, whereas the Caps have a money line of +115 to knock off the league’s current darlings.
If any lamp-lighters can solve Anaheim’s impenetrable-of-late defense, it’s Alex Ovechkin and his band of merry men. Ovi will pursue his seventh multi-goal game of the season after (momentarily) escaping suspension for Saturday’s ferocious hit on Boston’s Kevan Miller.
Nonetheless, he’ll be greatly tested by the opposing netminder. Frederik Andersen is 12-0-2 with a 1.76 goals-against average in his last 14 starts. The 26-year-old Denmark native has, for all intents and purposes, put first-half sensation John Gibson squarely in the rear-view mirror.
Conversely, Washington’s No. 1 goalie aspires to simply revert to basics. Braden Holtby’s post-All-Star-break GAA sits at 2.74 – a stark contrast from the luminous figure of 2.03 that he carried into that 3-on-3 tournament on Jan. 31.
Sterling offensive attacks aside, neither netminder should blink often in this one. Expect a conservative, gritty bout that screams Stanley Cup finals preview.
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