Can Penguins close out Capitals in Game 5?

Can Penguins close out Capitals in Game 5?

The NHL’s best team over the regular season’s final month needs just one more victory to eliminate the best squad all year.

Should Pittsburgh take care of business in the nation’s capital this evening, it will become the first club to qualify for the Eastern Conference finals. The Penguins and Caps drop the puck at 7:15 p.m. ET in a must-win situation for Alex Ovechkin and company. Online sports book gives the home outfit odds of -145 to extend the semifinals, while the visitors are listed as +125 underdogs.

Bet on Today's NHL Action

Following a regular season that produced a league-high 120 points, Washington finally seemed ready to discard the disappointment of past playoff appearances. Philadelphia provided a surprisingly stern test in the opening round, though, and Pittsburgh simply hasn’t been intimidated in the slightest. Mike Sullivan’s group carries a 3-1 advantage thanks to Patric Hornqvist’s overtime winner three nights ago.

Dive a bit below the surface, however, and you’ll find a variety of reasons for the Pens’ considerable success. Goaltender Matt Murray is 6-1-0 with a 1.81 GAA in place of the injured Marc-Andre Fleury. Hornqvist and Evgeni Malkin have joined Sidney Crosby in generating offense in times of great need. Don’t forget the defense either, which continues to stand tall in spite of Olli Maata’s (upper body) absence.

NHL Quick Links: Free Matchup Reports | Injuries | Odds Comparison | Scoreboard | Betting Trends

The Caps aren’t enjoying nearly the same degree of balance. Evgeny Kuznetsov and Nicklas Backstrom must step up tonight to send the proceedings back to the Steel City. We suspect that they will, with usual suspects such as Ovechkin and T.J. Oshie taking care of the rest. Bank on the East’s No. 1 seed to widen the margin with a late empty-netter or two.


Want More Picks, Predictions & Odds From The Follow on Twitter and Facebook or Subscribe to Our News Feeds!

Recent NHL Discussions

Saturday Sharp Action NHL on Sat, Jan 2021 by Jimmythegreek
NHL STARS on Wed, Sep 2020 by iceman17
Chicago Blackhawks on Sat, Aug 2020 by Surfer

NHL Predictions & Picks

Thumbnail Stars vs. Panthers NHL Prediction The Panthers are red-hot and will host the Stars at 5:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday. Will they cash again as a slight home favorite this evening?
Thumbnail Canadiens vs. Senators NHL Prediction There’s plenty of scoring potential in tonight’s Canadiens-Senators matchup at 7:00 p.m. ET but the under has been profitable in this series and the total is...
Thumbnail Golden Knights vs. Avalanche Prediction The under has been profitable in recent Golden Knights and Avalanche games but given the scoring power on both sides, will the under cash tonight when the two...
Thumbnail Jets vs. Canucks NHL Prediction Listed as a slight underdog on the road tonight, will the Jets knock off the Canucks in Vancouver at 10:00 p.m. ET?
Thumbnail Sabres vs. Devils NHL Prediction One of the early puck drops in the NHL on Saturday pits the Sabres against the Devils at 12:30 p.m. ET from New Jersey. Are the Devils a good investment as a slight...

NHL Headlines