Penguins vs. Capitals Game 1 Pick
Will the Washington Capitals avoid another slow start to a series when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 1 at 7:30PM ET?
According to oddsmakers at BetDSI, the Capitals are favored at home, as they are getting odds of -145 to win. The Penguins are listed with a money line of +125 to prevail. The over/under total for the game is listed at 5.5 goals. These two met four times during the season, with each team going 2-2. The home team won all four meetings.
Washington got a scare in the first round, falling behind 2-1 to Toronto. However, the Capitals ultimately won the series over the Leafs in six games. They come into today’s game at 59-19-10 overall and 34-7-9 at home. Washington is averaging 3.17 goals per game while allowing just 2.19. T.J. Oshie had a team-high seven points in the series while Justin Williams and Nicklas Backstrom had six points. Braden Holtby had a 2.36 GAA in the series while stopping 92.5 percent of the shots he faced.
Pittsburgh is coming off a five-game series win over the Blue Jackets. The Penguins are now 54-22-11 overall and 20-16-7 on the road. The Pens are averaging 3.44 goals per game, but allowing 2.78 on defense. Evgeni Malkin had a great series, racking up 11 points on nine assists. Jake Guentzel put in five goals. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 93.3 percent of the shots he faced and had a 2.52 GAA.
I don’t feel great about the Capitals, but they have won three straight. The Penguins are a tremendous offensive power, but their defense will likely give the Capitals some good scoring chances. These two had some high-scoring games earlier this season. Pittsburgh hasn’t been terribly reliable on the road, so I am going to take my chances on the Capitals at home to simply out-score Pittsburgh.
NHL PLAYOFFS PREDICTION: WASHINGTON CAPITALS -145