Two teams that each spend an average 12+ minutes per game in the penalty box, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals meet at Capital One Arena for a divisional tilt. Sportsnet will air the game, and the opening face-off is at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, November 10.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Washington Capitals Odds
Washington (+110) is currently the underdog to Washington (-130), and the Over/Under (O/U) has been set at 6 goals. The odds for betting the total sit at -120 under, +100 over.
Pittsburgh is 9-8 straight up (SU) and has lost 0.1 units for moneyline bettors this year. Nine of its games have gone over the total, while eight have gone under and none have pushed. This 2017-18 Penguins team is 4-7 SU on the road.
Pittsburgh has converted on 27.7 percent of its power play chances this season, a figure that places them in the top-5 among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 12th overall, and it has successfully killed off 81.5 percent of its penalties.
Pittsburgh, as a collective unit, has been penalized 4.8 times per game overall in the 2017-18 season, and 3.8 per game over its last ten contests. The team has had to kill penalties 10.4 minutes per contest over their last five road games.
Averaging 26.1 saves per game with a .906 save percentage, Matt Murray (9-5-1) has been the best option in goal for Pittsburgh this year. If head coach Mike Sullivan chooses to rest him, however, the team may go with Antti Niemi (0-3), who has a .797 save percentage and 7.49 goals against average this year.
The visiting Penguins have relied on Phil Kessel and Evgeni Malkin heavily this year. Kessel has 19 points via five goals and 14 assists, and has recorded two or more points in three different games. Malkin has seven goals and 11 assists to his name (and has notched at least one point in 10 games).
Washington is 8-8 straight up (SU) and has lost 1.4 units for moneyline bettors thus far. Nine of its outings have gone over the total, while seven have gone under and none have pushed. It’s 3-3 SU at home this year.
Washington has converted on 18.0 percent of its power play opportunities this season, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 25th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 77.3 percent of all penalties.
Washington players have been sent to the penalty box 4.9 times per game in total this season, and 3.8 per game over their last five outings. The team has had to defend opponent power plays 9.4 minutes per contest over their last five home games.
Braden Holtby has stopped 29.7 shots per game as the top selection in goal for Washington. Holtby has eight wins and three losses to his name and has registered a pedestrian 2.62 goals against average and a .921 save percentage this season.
The home team offense will be led by Evgeny Kuznetsov (three goals, 15 assists) and Alex Ovechkin (13 goals, five assists).
Pittsburgh Penguins at Washington Capitals Betting Picks
Predictions: SU Winner – Penguins, O/U – Over
- The under has hit in four of Washington’s last five games.
- After averaging 32.4 shots per game as a team last season (the second-most in the league), Pittsburgh’s attempted 35.7 shots per game overall this season, and 35.0 in its last five road games.
- The Penguins are 3-4 SU in games where they serve more penalty minutes than their opponent while the Capitals are 4-6 SU when they spend more time in the box than the opposition.
- Washington skaters have managed 9.0 takeaways per game over its last five home games, an improvement over its season average of 6.5 takeaways per game (ranked 21st).
- Pittsburgh has averaged 5.6 takeaways per game over its last five road games, right in line with its season average of 5.8 takeaways per game (ranked 26th in the league).