Montreal Canadiens at Washington Capitals Matchup Preview 2/20/20

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Tomas Tatar, Nick Suzuki, and the Montreal Canadiens will face off against John Carlson, Alex Ovechkin, and the Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena in an Eastern Conference tilt. NBC Sports Washington will showcase the matchup, and the action gets going at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, February 20.

Montreal Canadiens at Washington Capitals Odds

The Capitals (-190) are heavily favored over the Canadiens (+165) and the Over/Under (O/U) is set at 6 goals. The odds for betting that total stand at -125 for the over and +105 for the under.

Washington is 37-22 straight up (SU) and has netted 3.6 units for moneyline bettors this season. That winning percentage, ranked third in the NHL in this young season, isn’t too far off from to the 48-34 record the team managed during the 2018-19 season campaign. Through 59 regular season matches, 36 of the team’s games have gone over the total, while 21 have gone under and just two have pushed. The team is 16-13 SU at home this year.

The Capitals have converted on 20.7 percent of their power play opportunities this year, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, their penalty kill is ranked fourth overall, and they’ve successfully killed off 83.9 percent of all penalties.

With a .897 save percentage and 25.4 saves per game, Braden Holtby (22-19-4) has been the top option in goal for the Caps this season. If Washington chooses to give him a rest, however, head coach Todd Reirden may turn to Ilya Samsonov (16-7-7 record, .917 save percentage, 2.38 goals against average).

Montreal has lost 16.4 units for moneyline bettors thus far and is currently 27-35 straight up (SU). Through 62 regular season outings, 32 of its games have gone under the total, while 27 have gone over and just three have pushed. The Canadiens are 14-15 SU as the away team this season.

The Canadiens have converted on 19.6 percent of their power play chances this year, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 19th overall and it’s successfully killed off 79.1 percent of all penalties.

Carey Price (27.5 saves per game) has been the primary choice in goal for Montreal. Price has 24 wins, 27 losses, and five overtime losses to his credit, while registering a .910 save percentage and 2.76 goals against average this year.

Montreal Canadiens vs. Washington Capitals Betting Predictions

NHL Tip: SU Winner – Capitals, O/U – Over

Betting Notes

  • Penalties and power plays could prove to be extremely important in this game. The Canadiens are 8-10 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 20-25 in games where they serve fewer than 10 total penalty minutes. The Capitals are 12-9 when the team serves fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 20-11 in games where total penalty minutes are in the single digits.
  • Montreal is 4-1 in games decided by a shootout this season while Washington is 3-2 in shootouts.
  • Washington might hold an advantage if it’s a tight one late. The team’s 16-11 in games decided by one goal, while Montreal is just 13-21 in such games.
  • For both of these clubs, the total has gone under in three of their last five outings.
  • Montreal skaters have averaged 6.4 giveaways over its last five home games, an improvement from its season average of 12.3 giveaways per game (ranked 29th in the league).
  • Washington has averaged 14.0 giveaways over its last five home games, a rise over its season average of 11.1 giveaways per game (ranked 22nd).
  • This game features two of the more physical defenses in the league. Montreal skaters have accounted for the league’s sixth-most hits per game (26.8) while the Capitals have tallied the sixth-most (24.9).